The next step in proposals to transform Merton Council into a more efficient organisation was agreed last week (28 May) following approval from cross-party councillors undertaking scrutiny.
Having received recommendations from scrutiny and agreed to the scrutiny panel’s involvement throughout the process, the council’s cabinet gave final go ahead to an overarching programme of projects as part of Merton’s Transformation Programme. After Deloitte’s recommendations identified up to £68m savings available to be made by 2013, this programme of projects agreed at the meeting is the first step towards delivering transformation.
The Transformation Programme will see a number of the council’s business areas such as its organisational structure and procurement being addressed to ensure continued service quality. The cabinet also agreed that the proposed changes will be led by a project management board and will look for longer-term savings but also ultimately contribute towards the council’s budget gap of £14m for the financial year 2010/11 and £11m for 2011/12.
Councillor Samantha George, Merton Council deputy leader and cabinet member for change management and performance said:
“The Transformation Programme encapsulates everything the council needs to achieve in order to ensure it can work as efficiently as possible whilst offering the council taxpayer the best value for money. It is crucial we take forward this programme in order to put the needs of our residents first and continue to offer them quality services at a price they can afford.”
Scrutiny: A definition: The role of the Scrutiny Panel is to provide the council with an impartial and objective overview of the work taking place and the decisions that are made. These reviews are invaluable to the council and enable us to review our strengths and weaknesses in an open and honest way so we are better able to improve on services that need immediate attention.
The decision taken by cabinet could still be subject to call in from scrutiny councillors. The Transformation Programme project management board will be led by Councillor David Williams, Councillor Samantha George and Councillor Diane Neil Mills.