Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Meet Efficiency Targets with Ease

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Meet Efficiency Targets with Ease

Article excerpt

Local authorities remain on course to meet their Gershon efficiency targets for 2005/06 with just three months of this financial year remaining, the latest analysis from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed.

The department s mid-year update, based on returns from English councils, show that town halls should achieve £1.9bn of savings by April - in line with the total savings predicted at the start of 2005/06.

The figures exclude schools, police and fire services, which are being assessed under separate arrangements, and mean that councils are on course to meet their £3.1bn target by the end of 2007/08. The total figure for local government is £6.45bn over the same period.

Local government minister Phil Woolas, speaking after the updates publication on December 29, said: '[We] now expect councils to build on this achievement continuing to budget prudently and ensure the good work that they are undertaking in terms of efficiency gains continues.'

Sir Jeremy Beecham, vice-chair of the Local Government Association, said: 'Local government has year-on-year been making efficiency savings and these latest figures underline what the government has already acknowledged - that local authorities are making more savings than any other part of the public sector. …

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