Organisational Review for a Sustainable Council
West Lancashire Borough Council has agreed to implement a new operating model as part of its Organisational Review that will help ensure it can maintain service provision and be financially sustainable beyond 2020/21.
What is a Sustainable Council?
A sustainable Council is one that can finance the provision of services itself instead of receiving an allocation of funds from Central Government. A sustainable Council will generate income from fees, charges and rents in addition to the funds received from Council Tax and Business Rates to maintain its services and help deliver its key projects.
What has been agreed?
At its meeting on 10 July the Council agreed £1.4m savings through a staffing restructure and there are plans to achieve a further £1m through income generation and efficiencies over the next three years. Part of these changes will see the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer to lead on the income, savings and efficiency programme needed for the Council to be self-financing,. These measures build on the great progress made by the Council over the last 8 years generating income, efficiencies and other savings totaling more than £10m.
Does this mean we will need to pay more in Council Tax and Business Rates?
The review was assisted by independent advisors who specialise in developing robust operating models for sustainable Councils. They have made a series of recommendations on generating sources of income that would work best across the Borough in order to maintain service provision.
The Council's financial plans are based on the council tax level rising by up to 3% each year, while changes in business rates are determined by government rules and typically are uplifted by inflation each year. The Council has agreed proposals to make the collection of Business Rates more efficient.
What does it mean for local residents?
West Lancashire Borough Council continues to be ambitious for West Lancashire, our Economy, Environment and for Health and Wellbeing.
Becoming a sustainable Council will allow us to continue to deliver our statutory commitments and frontline services for residents. On top of this it will help the Council to continue to deliver our key priorities and projects to deliver tangible and visible improvements across the Borough. Already the Council is looking to invest around £800,000 including proposals for enhancing leisure facilities at Burscough and regeneration initiatives such as Wheatsheaf Walks and Skelmersdale's gateway improvements.
The Council is also looking to engage and empower our local communities and promote West Lancashire as a great place to live, work, visit and invest in.