DCC to use external expertise to tackle cuts

Cllr Spencer Flower

County Hall in Dorchester

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

THE leader of Dorset County Council has warned fellow members that money will be spent on ‘external expertise’ as the council enters a transformation phase.

Cllr Spencer Flower told a full council meeting the authority was taking a new approach to its way of dealing with continued funding cuts through its Forward Together programme.

He said the focus would not be about what cuts can be made to existing budgets and services, rather how the council can run things differently and more efficiently to ensure it is in the right shape moving forward.

Cllr Flower said: “We are going to get less money year on year and it would be quite wrong in my view to rely on the old approach of just top slicing budgets.”

The leader said that council spending on consultants had attracted negative attention in the past but he insisted that some money would need to be spent on the use of experts to help the authority transform and run more efficiently.

He also told members that no money would be spent on projects that would not bring overall savings to the council and these would all be monitored closely to see if they are achieving what they set out.

Cllr Flower said: “It does need some external expertise we don’t possess.

“We have not quite got into some people’s minds that it is about using experts to help us change the way we do things.”

Cllr Flower also said that he had been delighted with the success of the Ask Dorset public engagement exercise, which had involved more than 30 public roadshows around the county that had canvassed the opinion of over 6,000 people on what council services were important to them.

Comments (7)

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8:06am Thu 7 Aug 14

caapprentice says...

The leader said that council spending on consultants had attracted negative attention in the past but he insisted that some money would need to be spent on the use of experts to help the authority transform and run more efficiently.
He seems to confirm what lots of us already knew - there may be lots of incompetent people leading and employed by the council.
The leader said that council spending on consultants had attracted negative attention in the past but he insisted that some money would need to be spent on the use of experts to help the authority transform and run more efficiently. He seems to confirm what lots of us already knew - there may be lots of incompetent people leading and employed by the council. caapprentice
  • Score: 7

8:12am Thu 7 Aug 14

arlbergbahn says...

Well, he's ticking all the right boxes that all good incompetent business leaders follow: Meaningless slogan ("Forward Together, comrades!"), spend millions on Consultants to tell them how to save millions, and throw in a few barely comprehensible soundbites.
Well, he's ticking all the right boxes that all good incompetent business leaders follow: Meaningless slogan ("Forward Together, comrades!"), spend millions on Consultants to tell them how to save millions, and throw in a few barely comprehensible soundbites. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 8

10:07am Thu 7 Aug 14

February1948 says...

So, as I've said before in previous threads, the Council says it has to pay these very high salaries to attract the very best people, so why aren't the very best people able to do the work that we (it's our money after all) are paying consultants to do?
So, as I've said before in previous threads, the Council says it has to pay these very high salaries to attract the very best people, so why aren't the very best people able to do the work that we (it's our money after all) are paying consultants to do? February1948
  • Score: 7

11:38am Thu 7 Aug 14

pigfarmer says...

Spencer, I'll come in for £250 a day.
I reckon I could save you over a million a year within a couple of days.
I see council inefficiencies every day....
Spencer, I'll come in for £250 a day. I reckon I could save you over a million a year within a couple of days. I see council inefficiencies every day.... pigfarmer
  • Score: 4

1:10pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Panyan says...

When I worked in the Public Sector the consultant that they brought in to stream line our services previously worked in a biscuit factory. He was paid a ridiculous sum to implement change that experienced staff had already pushed for.
When I worked in the Public Sector the consultant that they brought in to stream line our services previously worked in a biscuit factory. He was paid a ridiculous sum to implement change that experienced staff had already pushed for. Panyan
  • Score: 6

9:24pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Speak Up1 says...

Panyan wrote:
When I worked in the Public Sector the consultant that they brought in to stream line our services previously worked in a biscuit factory. He was paid a ridiculous sum to implement change that experienced staff had already pushed for.
ABSOLUTELY - this is the classic manager NOT trusting the people who actually do the work to point out efficiency savings because they are more inclined to ignore lower staff because managers/management have an overinflated idea of their own self-worth.

If you went onto the shop floor, spoke to your staff without taking any criticism as personal and listened you might learn that they have ideas and solutions that could save the council millions.

But you won't because that doesn't fit into the mindset that YOUR ideas are better than anyone who gets their hands dirty.

If you go ahead with this I hope you will be publishing ALL (and I mean ALL) the balance sheets to prove you made the right decision to bring in these consultants and while you are at it I hope you will tell us what their experience is and the consequences if YOU fail - because their should be consequences for mismanagement shouldn't there at any level - especially at yours considering your pay!
[quote][p][bold]Panyan[/bold] wrote: When I worked in the Public Sector the consultant that they brought in to stream line our services previously worked in a biscuit factory. He was paid a ridiculous sum to implement change that experienced staff had already pushed for.[/p][/quote]ABSOLUTELY - this is the classic manager NOT trusting the people who actually do the work to point out efficiency savings because they are more inclined to ignore lower staff because managers/management have an overinflated idea of their own self-worth. If you went onto the shop floor, spoke to your staff without taking any criticism as personal and listened you might learn that they have ideas and solutions that could save the council millions. But you won't because that doesn't fit into the mindset that YOUR ideas are better than anyone who gets their hands dirty. If you go ahead with this I hope you will be publishing ALL (and I mean ALL) the balance sheets to prove you made the right decision to bring in these consultants and while you are at it I hope you will tell us what their experience is and the consequences if YOU fail - because their should be consequences for mismanagement shouldn't there at any level - especially at yours considering your pay! Speak Up1
  • Score: 3

3:56pm Sat 9 Aug 14

bollywood says...

If you cut the tree roots it will fall over. Prune the top and listen to the many experienced staff who have been through many inventions of the wheel and watched their ideas and comments pushed to one side because they were not paid enough to see what is wrong. Lessons should have been learnt with the roads/unintelligent systems that do not work, Olympics etc.
If you cut the tree roots it will fall over. Prune the top and listen to the many experienced staff who have been through many inventions of the wheel and watched their ideas and comments pushed to one side because they were not paid enough to see what is wrong. Lessons should have been learnt with the roads/unintelligent systems that do not work, Olympics etc. bollywood
  • Score: 0

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