The Conservative-controlled north London council has committed to spending £1.5m this financial year on a much-hyped reform programme to help close a yawning budget gap, but it is on course to recoup just £1.4m in savings in the year.Read it all here.
The council's funding shortfall is set to hit £15m next year, and the borough has tried to innovate through its "One Barnet" programme. This includes paying to develop a system of "life coaches" to persuade residents to reduce dependence on the state, appointing business consultants to help town hall officials and even opening a library in a branch of Starbucks in a pilot which could result in the closure of some library buildings.
The programme is budgeted to deliver savings of £13m a year by 2014, about a third of the total cuts planned by the council. It had been projected to save £3m by the end of the financial year, but Lynne Hillan, council leader, has now admitted the savings will be less than half of that.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Guardian: easyCouncil costs more than it saves
Today's Guardian reports how easyCouncil has so far cost more than it has saved.