Council cuts ‘not targeting services’

C111754-3 Bog Nigel  phot kate

The new Arun District Council chief executive Nigel Lynn.C111754-3 ENGSNL00120110911100344
C111754-3 Bog Nigel phot kate The new Arun District Council chief executive Nigel Lynn.C111754-3 ENGSNL00120110911100344

A bid by Arun District Council to save up to £4m by 2020 should not impact on frontline services, its chief executive has pledged.

A series of projects are being developed to make the saving, including a major restructure of management and exploring shared services with authorities in Chichester and Horsham.

But despite the sizeable saving required in light of dwindling government funding, chief executive Nigel Lynn hopes this will not impact on services.

He told the council’s overview select committee on Tuesday: “The intention is not to affect front-line services at all in any way if we can help it but to look at the back office to see how we can do it in a more effective way going forward.”

A restructure of council management will see about 65 posts reviewed, potentially saving up to £400,000.

Mr Lynn said services would be ‘shared, outsourced or become more effective in another way’, with departments from ICT 
to legal potentially shared with other councils.

And while most of the projects focus on back-office efficiency, a working group will discuss a project entitled ‘fewer public toilets’ later this month.

Felpham East councillor Paul English said he hoped any decision would be made in time for parishes to consider precepts.

Mr Lynn said members had asked for the public toilets project to be investigated and he anticipated a cabinet decision in July.

A business case is being drawn up to build student accommodation in London Road to meet an expected growth in University of Chichester students in the coming years. Aldwick West councillor Phil Hitchins welcomed the idea.

A report to councillors noted many projects needed ‘a lot more time’ to be developed because of a staffing pressures.

Mr Lynn said it was his role to motivate staff, who were driven to make a difference.

Elsewhere, the council intends to improve its digital service, recognising residents increasingly looked online when interacting with the authority.