'Cash strapped' council to change service delivery methods

MULTI-purpose community hubs dealing with a range of council services could be created across Dudley borough as part of invest-to-save plans set out by the cash-strapped authority.

Bosses at Dudley Council, who have been tasked with saving over £20million by 2018, are planning to cut costs by by using more digital technology to deliver services whilst selling off non-essential council buildings.

The Transforming for the Future report will go before a meeting of council’s cabinet next Thursday (December 3) when councillors will be asked to agree to set aside £2 million to fund the plans to help plug a £50 million shortfall in funding. A transformation team will be set up and a “strategic partner” could also be taken on to drive forward the changes.

A full review will take place, looking at all council and public sector buildings across the borough, in an effort to identify which could be used for the community hubs and which others could be sold to recoup money. A council spokesman said this would bring in additional council income whilst providing regeneration opportunities for private investors who can develop established buildings for their own purpose.

However the move has sparked criticism amongst campaigners trying to save Dudley Hippodrome. Supporters are questioning the councils decision to pay money to bulldoze the building in favour of a 'public space' when they say it could be sold in the same way as other public buildings or, with other investment, provide a multi-purpose space to feature a community hub.

Services such as children’s centres, housing, community safety as well as police, fire and voluntary sector services could all be provided at the hubs, which would also feature digital self-service facilities.

The spokesman said digital investment would also create simplified, automated processes across council departments and would also include the development of an improved website.

Council leader Councillor Pete Lowe said: “The financial challenges we face due to the national cuts are massive but by working together with our community we know we can establish services which will help people to be more self-sufficient.

“Whilst we will continue to make service savings where possible and encourage an ‘every penny counts’ culture at the authority we are also keen to explore this bigger and more innovative approach which we hope can generate tens of millions of pounds worth of savings.”


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'