The next four years will continue to be challenging for public services and local communities. East Devon is no different from other local authorities and we will continue to face financial pressures with funding from central government reducing and the demands for our services increasing.
For us, the challenge is no longer just about ‘doing more for less’ but instead it’s about rethinking our purpose, design and how we deliver our services in new and innovative ways.
Our council plan reflects the increasing emphasis on the council’s role, evolving from that of direct service provider to ‘enabler’. This includes helping to support communities to come together so they can do more for themselves.
In the plan, you will also see that there is an increasing focus on new technologies which can help us be more accessible and joined up with our communities as well as supporting more innovative ways for us to deliver our services.
These themes are also reflected in the council’s Transformation Strategy which works together with the Council Plan to steer and guide our work and activities. The Transformation Strategy highlights how the council will transform itself through working with communities, private, public and voluntary sector partners.
As we work towards the priorities set out in this plan, we will continue to transform service delivery with the benefit of new technologies. We will also continue to make sure our services are always improving through our ‘systems thinking’ approach and continue to develop and explore innovative ways of service delivery, based on a more commercial approach which carefully weighs commercial thinking with community value/benefit.
Through delivery of the actions in our Transformation Strategy and ongoing careful management of the budget, the council aims to manage the reduction in government grants and funding. Due to these reductions, £2.6m savings are required over the next four years whilst we continue to deliver against the priorities in this plan.
And of course we cannot forget that during the lifetime of this Council Plan, the council will relocate. Our approach will be to ensure that throughout the process of relocation we will seize every opportunity to improve the delivery of services wherever we can and that our customers can continue to access our services how and when they want them.
Our ambition is to be an outstanding council which works together with local people to create great value services and an outstanding community, economy and environment for East Devon, now and or future generations.
This Council Plan identifies four priorities and what we will do so that East Devon continues to be an outstanding place to live, work, visit and enjoy.