‘Second Mini Restructuring’ Agreed To Help Town Hall Save Money

town hall 11A reduction in the number of senior managers and transferring the sports hall to a new operating company are two of the proposals put forward by councillors to help save more than £670,000 next year.

That’s how much Scilly’s Council needs to reduce its 2016/17 budget in order to balance the books and avoid having to take more money from their dwindling reserves.

Councillors approved the savings plan at their recent Full Council meeting.

Measures to hit the target will include lopping £120,000 off the salary budget by reducing the number of senior managers.

That comes only a year after the completion of a controversial Town Hall reshaping by Chief Executive Theo Leijser.

Cllr Fran Grottick referred to the plan as “a second mini restructuring.”

There’ll also be savings of £25,000 by outsourcing some finance and IT functions and £20,000 through collaborating with Cornwall on Fire and Rescue services.

Another £50,000 will be saved in Children’s Services through a review of the activity programme.

The Council’s One Stop Shop could be moved to the library, saving a further £25,000 and £50,000 could come from tendering out the ‘Active Scilly’ service, which covers the sports hall, gym and swimming pool.

St Martin’s councillor, Colin Daly agreed with that.

Colin said the off-island community halls don’t receive Council funding and he didn’t see why the sports hall on St Mary’s should.

It should be handed over to a community committee to run with volunteering and fundraising, he proposed.

But Cllr Grottick cautioned about making decisions like that at the meeting. She said they were “talking about people’s jobs.”

That view was echoed by Council Chairman Amanda Martin. She said they had to realise, “it’s individuals and their livelihoods.”

It’s unfortunate they were having to reduce services, she said, but it was also a question of the economic survival of the authority.

Councillors were told that the financial situation facing the authority was serious, but Cllr Ted Moulson was worried that the savings wouldn’t be achievable within the next financial year.

Ted asked if they didn’t manage to make them, would the government, “turn round and tell us you’re inept at what you’re doing and pull the rug even further from under our feet.”

He pressed Mr Leijser several times to state whether the savings were realistic, but didn’t get a definite answer.

“You’ve obviously got concerns about whether this is 100% deliverable because you will not answer yes or no to the question I’m asking” said Ted.

But some councillors felt the savings didn’t go far enough and complained that areas they’d raised in earlier workshops hadn’t been included.

Cllr Gaz O’Neill said there were, “huge areas of concern that are not even mentioned in this action plan” although no councillor said exactly what these were.

“Cutting front line services while not addressing some significant elephants in the town hall, as it where, would be entirely inappropriate,” added Gaz.

He wanted all “the unmentioned areas” that councillors have raised to be addressed “at the soonest opportunity.”

Cllr James Francis agreed.

He wanted to “look carefully at the bureaucracy and clerical side.”

“We know in our own heart and through feedback from members of the community that that is the side they want to see addressed,” said James.

Councillors agreed the savings plan although individual proposal will still need to be approved at the relevant committees.

Council Tax bills are also set to rise by 3.99% from April.

That’s made up of a 1.99% increase in actual Council Tax, the highest that can be imposed without a local referendum, together with a new 2% levy introduced by the government to help councils pay for social care.

10 Responses to ‘Second Mini Restructuring’ Agreed To Help Town Hall Save Money

  1. Hudson March 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Oh dear Chairman,

    Must be getting closer to the time for more of your discreet meetings with the Local Government Association at Newquay? I wonder if you will be as happy to follow their advice next time around?
    Perhaps your colleagues have already started the overtures and you will be one of those kept in the dark this time?

    Well there’s another fine mess you’ve got us all into.

  2. a local who is not on the council. March 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Dan G.

    Please do read the post properly before commenting.

    Quote :-

    As my friend on the mainland has just said to me during her phone call.


    I’m worried about the mental health of some of the people on there islands — no point in worrying about it unless you can do something about it.

    • Don March 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      You didn’t even quote yourself correctly…

      My worry level just escalated.

      • Donkev March 22, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        I get the distinct impression that something is escalating .

  3. a local who is not on the council. March 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    As my friend on the mainland has just said to me during her phone call.

    Scilly today do a wonderful job on painting the council as a load of clowns.

    The antics would make a good television series not as a comedy. but as a farce.

    Perhaps Mr Sims could get writing.

    • oh can i star? March 21, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Hopefully, the other £300k shortfall will be covered when Sony buy the film rights. Entitled the bad, the worse and the ugly. It’s a plot that wanders aimlessly from one disaster to the next, even the love scene being a disappointment, hapless fumbling to find a power source close enough for the hitachi appliance that they hoped would rekindle their magic. The plot’s ending was inevitable from the start, just why does it have to go on for so very very very very long?

    • Dan G March 22, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Why are you phoning a friend on the mainland and discussing the local authority? I’m worried about the mental health of some of the people on there islands….

  4. A mathematician writes March 21, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Now, let me think. What’s 50% of £100,000 ( purely a random number ….. )

    • Linguine March 22, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Another random number would be 110,000 K per annum or nine thousand one hundred and sixty-six pounds and sixty seven pence per month.(for the Linguist)

  5. Resign Now March 20, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    The last time the CEO proclaimed a £300,000 saving it cost the community somewhere in the region of plus £600k.
    I feel so sorry for the staff, whatever happened to consultation?
    This sort of debacle is a direct result of the inept and misguided leadership of our chairman and the amateur approach to running a local authority by a ceo with seemingly no idea.
    This council has been spiralling into a terminal decline for the past couple of years, the descent and dissent are plain for all to see.