Councillors approve review of costs at AVDC

Janet Blake
Janet Blake

The latest phase in a council’s bid to become more commercial took a step forward the organisation’s development was given the go-ahead by councillors.

Aylesbury Vale District Council has already saved £14 million over the last six years, despite losing 60% of the central government grant, thanks to making efficiencies and generating additional income but still has £5 million to save, from its annual budget, by 2020.

Cabinet member for transformation, Cllr Janet Blake said: “This organisation is undergoing unprecedented change - over the last few years we’ve had to manage huge cuts and I’m afraid our share of the council tax goes nowhere near to covering our services.

“The old council model is no longer fit for purpose and if we didn’t develop our commercial ventures and our staff, we’d quite simply go bust. This is about us changing for the good of our communities and offering great value.”

The council says that every one of its services within will undergo a business review over the next 12 –18 months, to ‘ensure services are being delivered in the most cost effective way, whilst maintaining customer service and value for money’.

A spokesman said: “These reviews will help inform the council how the £5 million saving can be made. It is anticipated that there will be a reduction in the number of posts over the next five years, through natural wastage, voluntary and possibly some compulsory redundancies.”

The organisation has also started a number of commercial ventures, including Vale Commerce – a company wholly owned by AVDC. This includes the brands Limecart, a home and garden service, as well as Incgen, for businesses, which are being developed.