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Oxfordshire County Council moves forward with £50m-savings transformation plan which could see 900 jobs lost

Transformational plans for Oxfordshire County Council could see 890 jobs lost in a bid to save £50m, as councillors meet today to discuss the proposed savings and the implications.

Last August the county council proposed a “complete overhaul” with a four-year plan including savings of up to £33m which it said would lead to an end to the “salami slicing” of public services.

Later today, councillors will attend a special meeting to discuss the implications of its ‘transformation budget’ in the process of setting this year’s budget, and to provide an update on progress with the programme.

In council papers, Oxfordshire said it hopes to save nearly £50m across its services which could see 890 full-time jobs cut— but based on the transformation budget the authority could save between £58m and £38m, which it said was the minimum it hoped to save.

In a presentation detailing the progress, councillors will outline the budget implications and what governance arrangements are in place on the programme for future scrutiny.

Back in September the council said it planned on making £33m worth of savings and that it would try to ensure its proposed redesign of the council would protect frontline services by “cutting the red tape and reducing the costs of back office administration.”

Council leader Ian Hudspeth said: “We are committed to reducing the number of redundancies by retraining staff wherever possible to fill the new jobs that would be created as a result of the proposed new council operation.”

The transformation drive comes after a review from auditors PwC, which said the council needed to “fundamentally change” to meet future challenges and rising demand, particularly for vulnerable children and adults.

Cost-cutting measures include streamlining council administration, automating some services, and using technology to try to improve efficiency, such as using drones in emergency situations.

The transformation plans to create a new operating model announced in August were given the green light by councillors in September, and since then Oxfordshire councillors have been considering how to implement the operating model ready for the next financial year.

A further meeting on the plans will take place in April, followed by meetings in June and July.

Image credit - Robin Sones


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