Derby City Council

Council finds £5.3m new savings! Choose to save care/library services, or create 11 more senior management jobs costing £500k pa?

The Council Cabinet will be discussing its 2018/19 Budget next week following a period of consultation at the end of 2017. It found savings in the budget of £5.3m principally due to:

  • Changes in the Treasure management Policy £3.7m
  • Removal of previous “pressure” on insurance premiums ( queried by Derby News) £0.51m
  • Accounting errors £0.51m

What it does with that windfall is a matter of choice by the Council – there are no constraints or orders by Central Government. It can chose to avoid Council tax increases, save services,  spend it, a combination of all three?

Some of the choices are good. (£3.71m)

Children’s Social Care placements   £1.2m

Additional staffing on Child Protection £0.15m

Reduction in original £1m saving on Livewell ( health) programme £0.7m

Reduction in original £3.3m staff efficiency programme £1.5m

Extension of enforcement teams on fly-tipping £0.16m

Some political – questionable priority

Cultural events and Xmas lights £0.46m

Some controversial £1.1m

Salary increments £0.5m

New posts – information governance – £0.1m

11 new senior management posts £0.5m

Why new senior management posts?

On 12 December 2017, an internal consultation document was issued by the Deputy Chief Executive, Christine Durrant, titled – “Achieving Change ; Senior Management restructure – Tiers 1 to 3”.  The consultation period ends 24 January 2018, and a formal response issued on 9 February 2018. The rationale for this is that the level of senior management resources were reduced “too significantly 2 years ago”.  The changes are also being made to ensure that the structure is

“sufficient and robust enough to take forward the challenges the Council is expecting to face over the next few years”

The document goes on to say:

“It is therefore proposed that the numbers of senior director level posts are increased, especially within the corporate resources areas, as well as taking the opportunity to make other changes at a head of service level”

The driver for the proposals is not therefore to deliver savings, however there may also be efficiencies that can be achieved as a result of the proposals”

Examples of roles being created are:

  • Director of Property Services
  • Head of Strategic HR
  • Head of Innovation and Transformation
  • Head of Democratic Services and Communications
  • Director of Public Protection and Streetpride
  • Director of City Development and Growth


It is undoubtedly the case that the Council needs some form of restructuring – this should have a clear financial objective of being cost neutral; that would be the case in a commercial environment. If it was so important to do this, why wasn’t this included as a “pressure” within the budget consultation just a month earlier? To avoid bad publicity? Lack of vision?

It should not be forgotten that left on the list of savings which are “unavoidable due to government  cuts” are, totalling £0.77m:

  • Libraries £0.37m
  • Day care Services for people with profound mental and learning difficulties, and challenging autistic behaviour.  Care Homes for the elderly – total £0.2m
  • “Efficiencies” in post 16 transport that will affect children with Special Needs £0.1m
  • Closure of water play facilities in Arboretum Park /rationalisation of football provision £0.1m

And of course, the Teaching Assistant / School support staff pay dispute remains unresolved due to affordability.

It is worth re-iterating that in the 2 months since the consultation, the Council found a £5.3m positive gap(saving) in its original plan which has zero consequence on any service, of any description.

It chose not to save some key services in the City, totalling £0.77m, it chose to spend it on new senior positions and pay increases totalling £1.1m

And yet, the people of Derby will keep being told that the Council cannot afford these services.

Misleading political rhetoric, ignorance, incompetence…or just plain lying?

2 replies »

  1. Thank you for doing this research, Russell. I am a socialist – I loathe the Tories like vermin and all that goes with their ideological austerity, but I also loathe Labourites who think we were born yesterday, and are doing this sort of thing where they are in charge in local government. Keep exposing the lies and propaganda from wherever it comes from x

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