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More than half of local authorities have marked 2015 as the year they will make a stepchange in their

transformation agenda
Latest research from Civica suggests authorities understand how to adapt to efficiency cuts to
evolve into councils of the future
If the spending gap is not addressed, research reveals the following services are likely to require a
new working model. In the status quo:
63% believe libraries, leisure facilities, youth centres and parks will suffer
38% predict pest control and refuse collections will be affected
33% claim road repairs and building maintenance will deteriorate
28% believe adult social care will be compromised
23rd March 2015, London: Civica, a market leader in specialist systems and business process
services that help organisations transform the way they work has highlighted research* with local
government and social housing directors and managers that reveals 73% believe 2015 is the year
efficiency cuts will go deeper. Despite pressure on their ability to deliver local services, more than half
(51%) of local officials surveyed have earmarked 2015 as the year they will make a step-change in
the way they transform their services.
The research indicates an improved understanding of how local authorities will meet budget
requirements and improve services. The majority (58%) plan to partner more with strategic private
sector suppliers and 61% envisage a future characterised by widespread self -service for citizens.
Twenty-nine percent expect to become more commercially savvy and intend to raise new income
through more fees and charges this year.
Time is of the essence. With 37% of respondents admitting that front line services have declined over
the last three years, councils need to act decisively. However, almost half (47%) of respondents are
cautious about making large transformative changes in the run-up to the General Election.
Paul Bradbury, group business development director, Civica said: It is imperative that all
organisations think differently and work with strong and stable partners who share a common vision
and commitment. Local public services have performed an unprecedented job in adapting to 30% cuts
since 2011, but the pace of change and the expectation to meet financial and societal challenges is
accelerating.
Population pressures
Respondents expect a wide range of services will suffer as a consequence of further budget cuts (see
above highlights). Twenty eight percent believe day centre and residential care provision will be
affected and 21% predict early intervention services for the most vulnerable will be hit.
At the same time, local officials are struggling to cope with population pressures. Forty-four percent of
respondents expect the growing ageing population to squeeze their finances further. Thirty percent
believe the ageing population is putting an extra strain on resources to serve other members of the
public and 29% suggest that the elderly population is putting pressure on staff time.
Kim Ryley, chair at SOLACE in Business and former chief executive, Cheshire East Council and
Shropshire Council said: "These insights confirm the findings of our own research that, without
innovative solutions by their local council to transform the way things are done in future, it is local
residents who will pay the highest price for further cuts in funding for public services. Civica's research
warns rightly that local libraries, leisure facilities and parks might close, the condition of local roads
may deteriorate, and care for family members and vulnerable people could be scaled back, as the
pace and size of funding pressures and public demands accelerate.
"The good news is that the majority of councils have plans to move quickly beyond just making
efficiency savings. Instead, they will put in place new collaborative arrangements with sympathetic

private sector partners, and find new ways to raise money for necessary investment in better services
and in the new technology essential to compensate for their shrinking workforces. With the General
Election fast approaching, the next Government will need to be wise enough to give the space and
devolved decision making that local councils will need to radically transform themselves over the next
few years."
Making a step-change
A new approach is required across public services to prepare for a more secure future and
transformation is a top priority for many public service executives. To enable transformation, local
government organisations are examining their strategy for change; in many cases enabled by new
technology. According to the research, 60% of respondents have made progress with the adoption of
cloud-based software and 75% have made some headway towards integrated online services. There
is still a long way to go for many of these organisations but most have moved beyond a mere
statement of intent and the majority agree that technology will play an important role in the council of
the future.
As evidence of this:
54% believe cloud-based applications and services will shape council services of 2025
58% predict local authorities will embrace multi-channel payments more widely
40% imagine the Internet of Things (i.e. sensors and data-driven insights) will play a big role
over the next decade
These projections build on what local government and social housing directors and managers said at
Civicas annual conference last year, when 67% identified technology as a key route to improving
service delivery.
Paul Bradbury added: There are some great examples of progressive authorities who are using
technology to transform how they deliver services for their customers. Malvern Hills, Worcester City
and Wychavon councils formed a ground-breaking shared service in South Worcestershire to deliver
revenues and benefits services, saving 3 million in the process. This is just one example of the
opportunities local authorities have to undertake a root and branch review of their operations and
secure their future as next generation councils.
Earlier this year Civica produced a report on how local government will transform over the next 10
years. The report includes insights from further research with 80 council leaders and chief
executives from across the country and a detailed summary of a discussion between a
group of pioneering leaders.
To download a copy of the Changing Landscape for Local Government report please click here.
Ends
*About the research
The research is based on a survey with 63 local government and housing association executives:
(84% of respondents work in local government; 16% work in social housing). The research was
conducted at Civicas annual conference between 21st and 22nd January 2015.
About Civica
Civica (www.civica.co.uk) is a market leader in specialist systems and business process services for
organisations across the public sector and around the world. Through experienced people who
understand service delivery, the Group applies software, cloud-based services and outsourcing to
help customers transform the way they work. Drawing on a unique combination of people, technology
and business process expertise, Civica supplies more than 2,500 organisations in the UK, Australia,
New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the USA.
Alex Hudaly/Sara Downey
Civica Press Office at Brands2Life

(0)20 7592 1200


civica@brands2life.com