The Sport, Leisure and Culture Consultancy (SLC) is working with a number of Unitaries, London Boroughs and second tier authorities on addressing the challenge of major budget reductions looming in 2015/16. In the last 12 months we’ve identified well over £5 million of cashable savings for three clients. Budget reductions for Culture and Sport services range from 20% to 50% and as such, this has required some radical thinking. SLC is pioneering an approach based on three policy positions:
- What a council will do.
- What a council will support / enable and;
- What a council will no longer do.
Using this approach, we are working with senior management teams and elected members to tackle the challenges being faced head on. This involves challenging the service mix, rationalising facilities, driving better outcomes and value out of existing contracts and new ones. We’ve come up with some radical approaches to pricing, service propositions and rationalisation. Our view is, if you can’t try something innovative in this period of austerity – you never will.
We’re leading thinking in scenario planning and modelling future state for Councils’ consideration. We’ve identified some real barriers to transformational change – namely elected members and stakeholders who would be affected. The community are ultimately the key stakeholder and we’re keen to engage with them through our research function to road test ideas and critically, manage expectations.
Sadly, we do come across real inefficiencies and waste, particularly linked to how Councils wish to procure new facilities. By applying our experience-based approach to cost effective feasibility and timing our involvement with SLC’s Architects, we’re ensuring best value is being delivered. We’re undertaking a number of options appraisals exploring management options for Culture and Sport services. With the Trust market developing rapidly and the major players securing more contracts, there is a shift towards economies of scale that we see continuing for the foreseeable future. We’re also supporting Councils such as Malvern Hills DC with procurement strategies and support for retendering management contracts with a view to work towards a nil cost contract – an increasingly common desire for authorities.
So if your Council is feeling the pinch and you’d like a discussion about how you can protect valued services and improve their sustainability, do get in touch.
Duncan Wood-Allum Email Me. 01444 459927