BOLD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is BOLD?
- Why start now, what's
- 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
- As you'll have less money to spend
over the next few years, can we expect fewer repairs to the
- 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. (Back to
- 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.
(Back to Top)
- Q. Which areas are being affected most, are there any
that are protected?
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.
(Back to Top)
Q. You have recently identified over £50 million of
potential savings, doesn't this mean that you've spent years
wasting taxpayers' money?
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
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 26 November 2012 at 14:51.
The page is next due for review 25 May 2014.