CDC is now the most efficient Shire District Council in the country
Release date: 21 March 2018
Latest figures show that Cotswold District Council has achieved its aim of being the most efficient of all the 201 Shire District Councils across the country.
In 2011/12 CDC established a baseline to measure future improvements against a range of indicators, and assessed at the outset that its overall ranking was ninth out of 201 councils. Since then CDC has risen steadily in the rankings. Now, seven years on, a recent benchmarking exercise against the range of efficiency indicators shows that the Council is ranked in first place.
The basket of indicators includes measures such as: overall cost of council services per head of population; rate of increase in council tax; time taken to process housing and council tax benefits; percentage of council tax collected; and amount of recycling per household; and percentage of major planning applications determined in accordance with relevant timescales.
Commenting on the move to the top slot in the rankings, CDC Deputy Leader Cllr Nick Parsons said:
“I am absolutely delighted that we have reached our stated aim in just five years. This achievement -which has, to a large extent, been achieved through Councillor Lynden Stowe’s leadership over 11 years - reflects the success we have had in finding innovative ways to improve our efficiency over many years.
“Over the last decade we have generated substantial savings by forming partnerships with other councils, most notably our joint working with West Oxfordshire District Council which enabled us to make substantial reductions in running costs while maintaining our full range of services. We also reduced costs significantly when we transferred our waste service to Ubico Ltd, which we established jointly with Cheltenham Borough Council. The company has expanded rapidly and now provides services for nearly every local authority in Gloucestershire, and in West Oxfordshire.
“Towards the end of 2017, we took partnership working a step further with the formation of the Publica Group – involving councils at CDC, West Oxfordshire, Forest of Dean and Cheltenham. This will provide additional scope to share workloads, learn from each other and benefit from shared expertise and knowledge – and will enable us to make even more savings on the cost of management and administration. In fact, thanks to Publica, CDC expects to reduce current running costs by over £1.8 million per year by 2020.
“It’s essential to stay ahead of the game in local government and efficient working is the key to success. I am very grateful to the officers at CDC who have made this all possible. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the Council is well poised to continue delivering a full range of services in the years ahead – in fact, we even have scope to make several improvements. Working more efficiently has also enabled us to set aside funding for major projects in the future, the most notable being the proposed Waterloo car park expansion scheme.
“Now that we have reached this top spot in the rankings, we will not rest on our laurels. Our new challenge will be to stay there and I am optimistic that we are well poised to do so.”