Pandemic recovery plans to be discussed by Cabinet

07/21/21

Tamworth Borough Council Cabinet members will meet next week to discuss a number of proposed measures to ensure the agency stays fit for the future while protecting vital services to the city’s residents while we move away from the Recover from pandemic.

The global public health crisis is having a tremendous financial impact on councils, organizations and businesses across the country, and so is Tamworth Borough Council. This additional financial burden came at a time when the councils were already under considerable budgetary pressure.

Tamworth Borough Council sees a budget deficit of $ 7 million over the next five years.

The Council must act now to ensure we can address this effectively – while protecting and enhancing vital services to the most vulnerable in our community.

That Recovery and reset program was launched in October last year when the Cabinet agreed a work program that would be spread across several project areas. Since then, potential savings, income or efficiency increases have been identified in these seven project areas.

Cabinet will be asked to consider a number of recommendations at its July 29 meeting. If the cabinet approves the proposals, they will be presented to the full council on August 25 for consideration by all council members.

If approved by the full council, this would trigger detailed collaboration with relevant partners and members of the community. It is expected that the program will evolve and evolve based on the results of these discussions.

The Recovery and Reset program contains some significant proposals that have a number of key objectives:

  • Creating a leaner, more resilient and more efficient council that is sustainable
  • Take positive action to address the projected budget deficit in a way that protects and enhances vital services to the most vulnerable in our community
  • Build a better Tamworth by strengthening the city’s economy and heritage

Marmion house

The main proposal could result in the Tamworth Borough Council leaving Marmion House for good. The ability to move out of the building has been on the long term agenda for some time and the proposals could result in savings of over £ 3.5m (£ 10m over 30 years) over the next five years. Previous inventory surveys have shown that Marmion House alone will require a capital investment of between £ 2m and £ 3.5m over five years and between £ 6.2m and £ 7.5m over 30 years. When the revenue for running and maintaining the building is added, the cost is much higher. The building is clearly understaffed despite attempts to rent floors to other companies.

The pandemic has forced the majority of the staff in the Tamworth Borough Council office to mobilize to work from home and this has proven overall successful. The building’s layout and prime location offer opportunities to help renew the city center and this would be further explored.

Smart work

As part of the proposals, the Council would therefore consider options for smaller premises to allow a combination of home and office work. Formal consultations would be held with staff on proposed new smart working rules.

reception

Another key element of the plan is the service offering at the reception for residents, which is to be improved in line with customer demand. This includes a new reception in the city center with more targeted opening times and some contact with the communities for vulnerable residents, as well as improved digital services. Cabinet members are asked to approve a period of engagement as a first step in figuring out what this new and improved customer service should be.

Protect the weakest

In addition to the customer service offering, the council plans to work with key partners to develop a new vulnerability strategy that aims to ensure that services work hand in hand with the volunteer sector and are geared to reach those who need them most.

Civil headquarters

The proposals also recommend exploring the use of Tamworth Town Hall as the town’s civic headquarters, where citizens and council meetings are held.

Economic regeneration

Another project will focus entirely on economy and regeneration and help the city and its companies recover from the pandemic.

Cllr Jeremy Oates, chairman of Tamworth Borough Council, said, “We need to capitalize on the opportunities and learning of the past 19 months. The pandemic sparked action by bringing up many issues that we knew were on the horizon and in our long-term planning, but it makes sense to address them directly now as we look to a recovery from this global health crisis.

“Recovery and Reset also recognizes that the financial challenges we have faced in connection with the pandemic are far from over.

“The councils, like many companies, have seen a significant decline and we have already faced challenges. The additional loss of income from our leisure and tourism attractions, prices and rents as a result of the pandemic has accelerated this problem and made it worse.

“We also knew a decision had to be made about the future of Marmion House and whether we would make the most of this and other community owned buildings. At the same time, we know we need to do more to meet customer expectations for access to services. And at the heart of it all is making sure we are effectively serving the most vulnerable members of our community.

“The Recovery and Reset program allows us to take stock of our work across the ward council and ensure that we are value for money, efficient, meet people’s expectations of our needs, and robust and fit for the job Requirements remain. Future.

“We know the news from Marmion House is likely to generate headlines and discussion, but we have successfully mobilized over 200 people to work from home and, like many other organizations, the question is whether a great single Building the most appropriate way to work is to direct a council, especially since the costs involved are so high. Marmion House has been the subject of much discussion for many years, but we can now look back at it having learned from the pandemic.

“For the public, this gives us the opportunity to make personal service more effective, targeting help to those who really need personal support, and at the same time improving the digital offering for those who prefer to have their community affairs on their own.” Time to get things done without having to walk into a building or call.

“The recommendations in the report are based on 10 months of in-depth research, feasibility studies, surveys, and more. Next week’s cabinet is the next step in this process. All recommendations then have to be taken up by the full council and this will trigger a more detailed engagement.

“It is likely that the process and direction of the journey will change in the coming months based on the results of these discussions.”

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