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Fit for the Future programme (formerly Council Improvement and Sustainability Programme)

Dudley Council is facing financial challenges and, in response to last year's LGA Peer Review and External Audit recommendations, is implementing a programme of improvement to become financially sustainable.

The Fit for the Future Programme started last year, with the introduction of spending controls, including a recruitment freeze, stopping any new contracts and terminating agency and interim contracts, to support the financial stability of the council. These controls have so far saved £4.5m.

The council has set a target to identify and deliver savings (including increases to income from services) of £37.4m over the next three years, compared to the current budget. It is looking to identify as much as possible during 2024/2 and has already identified £17.4m - this includes charging for green waste collections, a review of school catering and rationalisation of office buildings.

To reach the remaining target of £20million, reviews will be carried out across all services, with options to cease, reduce, outsource, merge or transform them to be as cost-effective as possible.

A number of workstreams have also been established to identify and deliver improvements to ensure the council is fit for the future and financially sustainable.

Further information about the programme and workstreams are available in the following documents:

Local Government Association's Peer Review 2023

During September 2023, a team of seven peers spent four days with us. They spoke to more than 150 people including a range of council officers, elected members and external partners in a series of meetings, discussion sessions and focus groups. Before the review, the council summarised its current situation including our key priorities, issues and challenges in a position statement.

The full report from the Local Government Association’s Peer Review assessment is available below, along with the council action plan.

Progress review

The Corporate Peer Review process includes a progress review within 12 months of the original review. Our progress review is scheduled for 9 July 2024.