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Local Authorities

Video Transcript

2018 was another year of real challenge for the local authorities.

We have seen the continued pressure on finances and budgets.

We see continued spiralling costs for adult social care business and children services which result in something like for some authorities now round about 70% of their budget being spent in those two areas.

Overall on the face of it a bit of a bleak 2018, however on the positive side there have been some really good examples of the way in which local authorities have responded to the challenges of 2018.

Firstly, we’re seeing more and more authorities automating and digitising their services.

Secondly, we are seeing more examples of shared services.

Thirdly, we are seeing some great examples of authorities joining together and finally the devolution agenda gathers pace.

Challenges

As we move into 2019 I am expecting to see a lot of the same as we saw in 2018

I think we will continue to see pressure on budgets and finances as the austerity measures really start to bite in 2019 and 2020.

Estimates suggest that the gap between finances and the budgets could be anywhere up to £5 billion at the moment.

Secondly, I think we will continue to see more authorities issuing Section 114 Notices.

Thirdly, I do think we will continue to see an increase in the adult social care and children services budgets and of course we’re likely to have a continued low interest rate environment for the foreseeable future.

Opportunities

There are some real opportunities for local authorities in 2019 to meet those challenges head on and to enable them to start to deliver more with less.

They can embrace new technologies such as AI and robotics which will help them to improve the efficiency of the services.

They can embrace more on social value and how they can encourage suppliers to provide that value to local communities.

Thirdly is to ensure they are up-skilling their staff on that transformation agenda.

Fourthly is to do their banking as efficiently as they possibly can.

And finally, the way in which they manage their supplier payments is also a really good way of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their cash flow.

End transcript

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