'Enabling service provision and ensuring value for money for the council tax payer'
Portfolio holder, Councillor Jeremy Heron
Portfolio holder introduction
National pressures on funding for local authorities will remain a significant challenge and there is an ongoing need to respond to this to ensure the continued provision of frontline services which are underpinned by efficient and effective support services.
Continued investment in ICT will be instrumental in delivering flexibility and efficiencies.
The acquisition and managing of quality assets local to the New Forest will ensure growth and employment opportunities are directed at the local economy, as well as providing a new source of income generation and a return on investment to help support the council's financial resilience and ensure value for money for the council tax payer.
We will continue to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of our assets and facilities to ensure they remain fit for purpose.
Those in our community impacted by welfare reform will be supported with the migration to universal credit.
Our priorities are:
- protecting front line services through sound financial planning, including the collection of taxation with appropriate support for individuals and businesses
- modernisation and innovative use of ICT to enhance operational efficiencies across all services
- using investments to support financial resilience and the local economy
- providing support to residents with benefits and welfare reforms, and supporting businesses to access financial reliefs and grants
Our key priorities are:
- deliver the council's Medium-Term Financial Plan
- modernise our corporate and line of business ICT applications
- identify sites and opportunities in line with the commercial property investment strategy
- continue to acquire properties through the council's residential property company
- deliver improved, more sustainable infrastructure to support operational services
- deliver government support to businesses, including business support grants and retail discounts
- continue to manage the impact of Universal Credit and review our Council Tax Reduction scheme to maximise automation
Action plan and achievement measures
This plan of specific actions that will directly contribute towards the delivery of the priorities within each portfolio.
These actions will be refreshed annually to keep them up to date.
Achievement indicators for each portfolio have been identified to help monitor progress against the delivery of the priorities and provide tangible measures of success.
Progress updates on specific actions and achievement indicators will be reported to the relevant overview and scrutiny panel during the year.
Specific actions are:
- balanced budget agreed annually in February
- deliver the ICT strategy to modernise applications and infrastructure
- identify opportunities and progress the Commercial Property Investment and the Residential Property Investment strategies
- continue to work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions, New Forest Citizens Advice and stakeholders on preparing for the migration to Universal Credit
- design new depot facilities for future requirements and in response to any changes to national waste strategy
- deliver the Test and Trace Support payments to support those having to self-isolate
Achievement indicators are:
- maintain high level of council tax collected (%)
- NNDR collected (%)
- achieve a balanced budget with reasonable council tax increases (%)
- budget variations (General Fund) (%)
- increase in the value of residential investment (£million)
- increase in the value of commercial investment (£million)
- ICT incidents resolved within SLA (%)
- maintain a Remote Access Solution (VPN) (%)