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Frequently Asked Questions

BOLD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is BOLD?
  2. Why start now, what's changed?
  3. Does this mean I will have to pay for some services I currently use for free?
  4. Which areas are being affected most, are there any that are protected?
  5. You have recently identified over £50 million of potential savings, doesn't this mean that you've spent years wasting taxpayers' money?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. As you'll have less money to spend over the next few years, can we expect fewer repairs to the roads?
  9. How will I get the chance to have my say?

Answers

  1. 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 Top) 
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)

  5. Q. You have recently identified over £50 million of potential savings, doesn't this mean that you've spent years wasting taxpayers' money?
    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)

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

 

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This page was last reviewed 29 May 2013 at 15:01.
The page is next due for review 25 November 2014.