Council sets up fund to make savings

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A new fund is to be set up - the Derbyshire Challenge Fund - to help Derbyshire County Council make the changes needed to cope with the budget cuts imposed by the Coalition Government.

Council Leader, Anne Western, explains: “Because we have to save such a huge amount of money, £157m over five years, we need to consider fundamental changes to the way we deliver services.

“The Derbyshire Challenge Fund will help us invest some money to make the changes we need to do, to make bigger savings in the future.”

The Derbyshire Challenge Fund stands at £2.5m. The money has come from savings from budgets within the council including:

* smarter purchasing - £2 million each year for the next four years

* invest to save money - £420,000

* savings on the civic budget - £80,000

* ending the Derbyshire Young Achiever and Excellence in the Community awards - £30,000

* savings on the members allowance budget - £7,000.

The fund is part of The Derbyshire Challenge. Under The Derbyshire Challenge the council will:

Put its own house in order by:

* modernising the way the council operates

* scrutinising all areas of spending to ensure the cash is used where it is needed most

* reviewing senior management structures and introducing strict vacancy controls

* ensuring smarter and sharper ways of working

* disposing of redundant land and buildings

Work closely with other public services, councils, community and voluntary groups by:

* sharing services

* integrating health and social care priorities

* identifying the needs of every community to see how they can best be met

Maximise income and grants by:

* ensuring Derbyshire benefits from the Enterprise Partnership funds to help deliver more jobs and growth

* use every opportunity to bid for extra cash to support specific projects

Continue its fight to secure a Fair Deal for Derbyshire by:

* pressing the Coalition Government for more resources

* joining with other councils to highlight how local government is being unfairly targeted

* working with local MPs, community and voluntary groups to highlight the issues facing local government.

There is more information at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/challenge