West Lancashire Borough Council is looking at new ways to provide services to help it achieve its exciting ambitions for the area and the people who live and work here.
In its vision for West Lancashire, the Council has committed to being ambitious for the economy, delivering a good quality, clean, built and physical environment, and is keen to ensure conditions are in place for people in West Lancashire to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
While working on major projects to achieve these aims, such as the regeneration of Skelmersdale Town Centre (with partners St Modwen and Homes England), developing health and wellbeing hubs, and the Tawd Valley Park Masterplan, it is also providing key services, including:
The Council provides a wide range of support for businesses, and is actively engaged with the private sector in promoting the Borough through bodies such as the Ormskirk Town Centre Management Group and the Skelmersdale Place Board.
However, like many other Councils across the country, the Council is trying to maintain its services and achieve its ambitions, against the backdrop of increasing financial pressures and amid reductions in government funding.
The authority has agreed £1.2 million of savings and income measures to be implemented in the next financial year, making a total of more than £10 million over the last eight years. But the authority still needs to save or raise additional income of between £1.5 million and £2 million by 2020/21.
To help the Council achieve its aspirations while maintaining frontline services and continuing to balance the budget, it is going to carry out a Sustainable Organisation Review of the whole authority.
The Review will examine how the Council's activities match its future needs and how to best deliver the Council's vision and priorities going forward. It will look at whether there is scope for further efficiencies and savings that have a minimal impact on frontline services, and if additional income can be generated to fund existing services or develop new services.
Independent experts will be sought to support an internal project team to deliver the review. The independent experts will undertake a study, or series of studies, considering where there is scope for further income/efficiencies and savings, drawing on good practice examples from other authorities. The Council's structure and the way we organise work will be considered, together with scope for further use of 'lean' processes (re-engineering) and ICT/agile working.
Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: "There are exciting times ahead for West Lancashire with the projects the Council is involved in. To help us achieve our ambitions we need to undertake this review of our services and we will work hard to minimise the impact that any changes have on residents."
Having seen how other authorities have undertaken such projects, it is expected that the review will be delivered in a number of stages that may take up to three years to complete.