Herefordshire Council has announced plans to reduce the cost of council back office services to deliver savings of £1.2million from April 2014.
The council is facing significant reductions in government funding and yet it is imperative that it still delivers its priorities of keeping children and young people safe and giving them the best start in life, enabling residents to live safe, healthy and independent lives and investing in projects to improve roads, create jobs and build more homes.
The council and its provider Hoople Ltd have been working closely over the past few months to identify ways to achieve substantial savings from the £6million spent annually. The savings will be achieved by focusing on essential back office support and by efficiency improvements across all services currently provided by Hoople.
As part of the savings process, Hoople has actively been involved in seeking a mutually agreeable variation to the current council contract, to continue its commitment to helping the council deliver public service value in Herefordshire.
Mike Dearing, Hoople Ltd’s managing director, said: “The unique relationship which exists between Hoople and Herefordshire Council has enabled teams from the two organisations to work collaboratively to deliver significant savings with the full support of the respective boards. Whilst delivering these savings will be a challenge, I am pleased to be able to continue to support the council in its aim to deliver value for money services.
“Since Hoople was formed in April 2011, we have successfully managed to grow our customer base in addition to delivering further savings in the region of £3million to our shareholders. The confirmation of the council contract for 2014/15 provides us with revenue certainty to continue providing cost effective and high quality services whilst expanding our business interests. We are proud to provide services to a growing number of organisations, including local private companies, health organisations, schools and academies.”
Councillor Philip Price, cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “We are committed to reducing costs where possible across the council, including back office services, in order to deliver savings to protect our priority services.
“Whilst this will unfortunately have an impact on Hoople and council employees, we need to take difficult decisions to balance the budget and ensure we target our limited resources to deliver essential services. I would like to thank the Hoople board and management team for their continued support and positive committed approach to helping us deliver the savings necessary.”