Latest Public Sector News


County forced to slash £45m to fix ‘extremely challenging’ finances

A major council in the north has this week announced that it is considering pushing for £45m worth of savings to keep its fragile financial position afloat in the future.

Lancashire County Council will hold a cabinet meeting next week to work out where the savings will come from through a “detailed review of service budgets”.

Leaders of the authority say that the savings will come from more than 40 council-run services, but that frontline service delivery would not be affected as the money will be taken from efficiency savings, recurrent underspends, income generation and “service changes”.

Lancashire also admitted that the council’s position remains “extremely challenging”, as a combination of inflationary pressures and unprecedented demand for services means that it is now facing a funding gap of £167m by 2021-22.

It follows the authority being slammed for failing to carry out its duty to run libraries in the region back in April, as a civil society minister said its decision to close a number of services was “predetermined”.

The CC also rejected a four-year funding settlement from DCLG back in October 2016, with its deputy leader at the time, Cllr David Borrow, arguing the settlement would mean the authority would not be able to balance its books in the near future.

At that time, the deficit was expected to rise to £79m by 2020-21, a figure which has more than doubled since then.

Leader of Lancashire County Council, Geoff Driver, stated: “The county council’s financial situation is clearly extremely challenging and one of our key priorities is to create a more financially stable council that will enable us to future-proof our improvements to critical services for the most vulnerable in our communities. 

“This detailed line-by-line review of all service budgets has identified significant savings and is a very helpful first step to putting the council's finances on an even keel.”

Driver added that the authority would clearly need to make more savings in the future, and that councillors were working very hard to look at how Lancashire can do that in a way that allows it to protect frontline services. 

“Every council in the country has to make decisions about how it uses its resources and we are absolutely committed to funding those services that we know people value, by reopening libraries, investing in good quality roads and local environments, and supporting bus services,” he concluded.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Support for councils following Grenfell

04/09/2017Support for councils following Grenfell

Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), discusses the wider ... more >
A quiet revolution

04/09/2017A quiet revolution

Dermot Ryan, programme director at NHS Digital for the Health and Social Ca... more >


‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Bus... more >

the raven's daily blog

How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

18/09/2017How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

Five years on from the introduction of the Social Value Act, Alison Ramsey, frameworks co-ordinator at Scape Procure, reflects on the key questions that prompted the legislati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides a fascinating analysis of the campaign, and assesses the aftermath of the election on pages 26-28. It is a must-read article.  During the... read more >