Latest finance reports show how we continue to run an efficient Council

You may have heard recent news of a £3.8bn social care fund being established by the Government in 2015. This has been a welcome announcement, reflecting our drive to make sure our elderly residents have access to the best support and healthcare . Communities and Local Government Secretary of State Eric Pickles gave more detail about how the government wants social care to work in a similar vein as for troubled families in bringing services and resources together under one umbrella.

He spoke about the need for closer integration of health and social care services, but if you’re a regular reader you’ll know that this is something we’ve already achieved for Staffordshire.  Back in April 2012, we moved 1,000 social care staff over to their health colleagues at the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust.  I have written to the Minister to make him aware of this and if he wants to see what we have learnt and the results, we would gladly share with him.

Several Council reports have also been published ahead of a cabinet meeting this coming Wednesday, notably our treasury outturn report and our budget monitoring report, both of which bear good news for us all.  We’ve managed to save £1.3million over the last financial year through using cash instead of borrowing it, resulting in productive investments and reduced interest payments.

The reports also detail how through the early months of this financial year we have continued to run an efficient county council with carefully thought-out financial management. We will always make every penny of your hard earned money count for the benefit of our residents. Last year we made savings of £46million and did so while freezing council tax and investing in better services like our highways and roads.

Reliable roads and effective traffic systems are the lifeblood for a county and its businesses and you’ll be glad to hear that our highways crews will be finishing developmental work on more than 400km of our roads as part of a £7m investment.  Much of this work is basic surface dressing which needs dry weather to be done properly, so our teams will be making the most of the summer sun over the next few months. Without this treatment, roads would need to be replaced three to four times as often so any short term disruptions now are worth the long-term gain.

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