All Derbyshire County Council services to be reviewed

Every Derbyshire County Council service is to be reviewed, it has been announced.

Derbyshire County Council's Matlock headquarters.
Derbyshire County Council's Matlock headquarters.

The Conservative-led authority has unveiled plans for an 'ambitious new approach' which could see some of its services being outsourced to external organisations.

Bosses will look at a number of services - including libraries, learning disabilities and highways and fleet management - to pilot the 'new way of working'.

Councillor Barry Lewis, leader of the council, said: "The role and shape of public services has changed dramatically and we face significant challenges in providing the services local people want and need.

"What we need is an ambitious plan for the future, focused on getting the best results for our residents, whether that's by the council delivering a service itself, or by an external organisation.

"We need to be bold and innovative and have a commercial mindset.

"At the moment around 50 per cent of council services are already run on our behalf by the voluntary sector, parish councils, public-private partnerships, private contractors or charitable and community interest companies.

"We will be looking at all these types of delivery models and more in the future, including sharing or trading services with other councils."

A spokesman for the authority said cabinet members will discuss the plans at a meeting next Thursday.

The spokesman added: "This new way of working seeks to make the most of new technology and better ways of doing things where value for money is at the heart of everything the council does.

"A key priority of the new approach will be to look at different ways of delivering council services and every council service will be reviewed.

"A number of services have been identified to pilot the approach."

According to the council, these include:

â–º Libraries

The spokesman said: "A new strategy is being developed to look at different ways to deliver library services."

â–º Learning disabilities

The spokesman said: "An engagement exercise is underway with people with learning disabilities, their families and carers."

â–º Highways and fleet management

The spokesman said: "A review will look at options for the highways and fleet management service."

â–º Leaving care

The spokesman said: "A new service approach will be developed."

â–º Sports and outdoor service

The spokesman said: "Options on future ownership will be presented to cabinet in July."

â–º Property

The spokesman said there would be a 'review of options for delivering a more sustainable and cost-effective property management service'.

â–º Occupational health

â–º Assistive technology including alarm monitoring services for older and vulnerable people, currently provided by external companies

The spokesman added: "An enterprising council strategy, setting out the key steps and actions, will be developed, which will be considered by the council's cabinet in the future."

Earlier this month, the council agreed to make £12million in savings over the next year.

The cuts include a £500,000 reduction in disability learning services, a £300,000 reduction in early help provision for vulnerable children and their families and a £300,000 reduction in school crossing patrols.

A council tax increase of 4.99 per cent - the authority's biggest in 15 years - was also approved.

Since 2010, the council has slashed its budget by £200m amid Tory austerity.