BOLD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is
- Why start now, what's changed?
- Does this mean I will have to pay for some
services I currently use for free?
- Which areas are being affected most, are
there any that are protected?
- You have recently identified over £50
million of potential savings, doesn't this mean that you've spent
years wasting taxpayers' money?
- How much do the Chief Executive and
Directors earn, and who decides what they are paid? Will they be
taking a pay cut to contribute to the savings?
- I am regular user of my local library and I
understand that nationally library services are under some threat,
what are you're plans for libraries in Worcestershire?
- As you'll have less money to spend over the
next few years, can we expect fewer repairs to the roads?
- How will I get the chance to have my
- Q. What is BOLD?
A. BOLD stands for Better Outcomes, Lean Delivery - essentially it
is the County Council's response to the national financial deficit.
The public sector nationally has to make significant savings as
part of the coalition Government's target to reduce the national
debt. Here in Worcestershire we are not immune, with £60-70 million
needing to be saved from our core revenue budget by over the next
four years. Where we think we are different is that by planning
ahead – the BOLD programme was launched back in 2009 – the County
Council has already made headway towards achieving this target in a
way which minimises the impact on those services you value most.
- Q. Why start now, what's changed?
A. The country fell into recession in 2009 and it was recognised
early on that the public sector would be faced with unprecedented
reductions in the money it received from central Government. In
Worcestershire, we decided to face up to this challenge early and
set about identifying where savings could be made. This approach
has given us time to carefully steer our way through a tough couple
of years, and while there remains much work to do, we have made
real progress towards achieving our savings target. (Back to Top)
- Q. Does this mean I will have to pay for some services I
currently use for free?
A. The Council is looking at everything we do to see if services
are provided in the most efficient way. Essentially everything is
on the table, including possibly charging for some services which
are currently accessed for free. There is a proposal in Adult
Social Care Services which could see some people pay extra for the
social care services they receive. The proposal is to assess
people's financial ability to pay extra towards the services they
access. Around 60 per cent of people who access social care
services are not expected to be affected.
- Q. Which areas are being affected most, are there any that are
A. Although the County Council is the Local Education Authority,
the budget for schools comes directly from central government as
funding restricted for this purpose; therefore schools are not
considered part of the BOLD programme.
Apart from that all services are being looked at. This includes
social care services, libraries, road maintenance and public
transport. We are also looking at making savings in back office
support and senior management and in fact over £800k have been
taken out of senior management costs already. We have, and will
continue to, ask residents what they think and have already
received over 16,000 responses to consultations. From this
information we have been able to see which services are most
valued, and which are less of a priority for our communities. From
this information we have been able to make well informed decisions,
and ensure our plans reflect what our residents really want.
Q. You have recently identified over £50 million of potential
savings, doesn't this mean that you've spent years wasting
A. The council has a proven track record of working in an efficient
way and has earned national recognition for this. A long-standing
priority for this council has been to deliver real value for money
for Worcestershire taxpayers and using our budget to provide a wide
range of well-used and valued services. The economic climate we are
in means we have to re-assess what we are here to do, what services
we should be providing and where we can support communities to help
deliver services themselves. (Back to Top)
Q. How much do the Chief Executive and Directors earn, and who
decides what they are paid? Will they be taking a pay cut to
contribute to the savings?
A. Details of the salaries and benefits of all the Chief Officers
can be found
here. The salary of the Chief Executive is set by a committee
consisting of members of all the political groups at Worcestershire
County Council. This is chaired by the Leader of the Council,
Adrian Hardman. The Chief Executive and Directors are subject
to any pay freezes which affect other Council staff.
Currently there are no proposals to ask the Chief Executive
and Directors to take a pay cut. However, a senior management
review is being commenced in June 2011. (Back to Top)
Q. I am regular user of my local library and I understand
that nationally library services are under some threat, what are
you're plans for libraries in Worcestershire?
A. The library service in Worcestershire is extremely well valued.
We are committed to ensuring people have access to a local library
wherever possible, however the way they are delivered may change.
It could be for example that libraries share buildings with other
services, or even are run by voluntary or community groups. A
review of the library service went before Cabinet in May 2011 and
approval was given to consult with people on the proposed model for
library services across the county. (Back to Top)
Q. As you'll have less money to spend over the next few years,
can we expect fewer repairs to the roads?
A. As with all services, it is about prioritising work and
resources to providing those services people tell us they value
most. We are currently in the first year of a three year programme
which is seeing us invest £15million into the urban road network;
this follows a similar level of investment in rural roads over the
previous few years. The winter road maintenance budget will also
remain at the same level as in previous years. (Back to Top)
Q. How will I get the chance to have my say?
A. A commitment was made at the start of the BOLD programme to
engage regularly with residents at the earliest opportunity.
Surveys and newspaper notices have been organised and leading
officers and elected members, including the Chief Executive Trish
Haines, and Leader Cllr Adrian Hardman, have visited High Streets
and shopping centres across the county to take part in BOLD public
road-shows. These methods have provided many opportunities for
people to have their say and have helped shape decisions.
Individual consultations around specific projects have also been
held and views listened to. For example, when considering changes
to public transport subsidies, initial proposals were to cut many
services which were costing the council a disproportionate amount
of money for the numbers of people who used the service. However
feedback from consultation suggested people would prefer less
frequent services rather than none at all, and plans were changed
reflecting this. (Back to Top)
This page was last reviewed 29 May 2013 at 15:01.
The page is next due for review 25 November 2014.