Councils find savings from smart asset use

The initial results of the joint LG Group/Department for Communities and Local Government Capital and Assets Programme (CAP) show how eleven local authorities are planning to consolidate their own assets and team up with other parts of the public sector, including police, fire authorities and the NHS, to improve service for residents while reducing the cost of maintaining assets and delivering services.

Examples of new approaches to managing public assets have been compiled in a nation-wide interactive map, which is now available online. The map demonstrates how local authorities are working on their own and with other parts of the public sector to reduce overheads through better asset use.

Cllr David Parsons, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement Board, said: "Local authorities are widely recognised as the most efficient part of the public sector. In response to cuts to their budgets they have taken steps to find new ways to save money to minimise the impact on frontline services. The CAP report provides graphic evidence of the kind of measures being replicated in local areas right across the country. The size of cuts to council funding are too big to make up through efficiency measures alone but councils have responded well, recording £1.6 billion in savings last year by sharing services and improving procurement.

"Not every council asset represents an opportunity to make savings. Some generate valuable ongoing income. Others like parks, sports facilities and cemeteries cost money but provide essential services to local communities. Many opportunities are available though and councils are using their local knowledge to lead the way, not only saving millions by consolidating their own assets but helping other local and national service providers to spend public money more efficiently.

"Local authorities can only go so far on their own. We need all Government departments to tear down the silos and give local areas more financial autonomy so that councils and other service providers can be linked up to save money and make services better and more convenient for residents."

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