Bury Council has a minority Conservative administration and a third of seats up for election on May 5.
But that has not stopped them coming up with a radical vision.
Here is a summary of their "transformation strategy":
Local Government is facing some of the greatest financial and organisational challenges ever. Central government has announced a 30% reduction our revenue grant funding, this is the money we need to pay for the extensive range of services we provide, and new legislation will cause a shift in power from central and local government to local communities. There are also new opportunities such as collaboration with partners and new technology that can help us to change what we do and how we do it.
Since September 2010 we have been developing plans to address these challenges. The transformation strategy sets out a clear way forward for how the council will meet these challenges and also fulfil the council’s vision:
Bury is a great place to live – we know this because 80% of our residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live 1 . Our schools are successful and many are over-subscribed. It is widely acknowledged that compared with similar size councils, Bury is a low-cost, high-performing organisation.
The Transformation Strategy sets out to undertake a fundamental review of the council, what it does, how it does it and what it could do differently in the future to meet community needs and deliver its strategic vision. It is about recognising and assessing the whole range of challenges and opportunities we face and ensuring we are in the best shape to address them and get the best results for Bury. Asking ourselves searching questions and developing new solutions is the only way we can make sure we can continue to make a positive contribution to people’s lives and be proud of who we are and reaffirm our future role in supporting and acting on behalf of our communities.
1. We will start with the assumption, that can be tested, that the council will not directly deliver services.
2. As each service is reviewed, new ways of delivering that service will be considered using the objective criteria set out in the Transformation Toolkit.
3. Each review will consider a range of options for providing the service in the future. These include stopping the service, working with partners, self-management by community or voluntary groups, volunteering and commissioning to secure best value.
4. All proposals for changing current delivery arrangements will have full engagement with agreed groups.
5. All Transformation Implementation plans will identify savings to support the overall savings requirements.
6. The current organisational structure of the council will be reviewed to ensure it best supports the range of services and functions in the future.
7. New technology, including greater use of agile and home working, will be used to improve access to services and increase productivity.
8. We will buy goods and services in a more co-ordinated way to get better value for money and reduce costs.
9. We will look at all our land and buildings and assess how they fit into our future plans and if they provide value for money.
10. New opportunities for working with partners and investing public money in different ways will be fully investigated and used to support the implementation of the Transformation Strategy.