More Reorganisation at South Somerset?

It is only a few months since South Somerset District Council stopped having “Transformation” as a regular item on their meeting agendas. That supposedly signalled the end of the Transformation process. That process has already cost £495,000 more in 2019/20 and £240,000 more in 2020/21 than it was supposed to.

It is perhaps not a surprise that SSDC is nervous of local government reorganisation. It knows from experience how expensive that can be.

But having completed Transformation a new report, adopted by SSDC hints that more is to come.

The Three Dragons and Bespoke Consultancy report commissioned by SSDC concludes that they now have the wrong staff in the wrong place for planning and development. And that is at the end of an expensive process that cost (as above) some £730k more than it was supposed to.

The report, which was unanimously adopted by the SSDC executive last week includes the following notes:

In order to make a significant difference to housing delivery the Council needs to recognise that it has a deficit of staff with appropriate skills as well as capacity in key areas to make a step change in pace and outcomes.”

SSDC not currently staffed to undertake interventions in the housing market (staff numbers and expertise). Staffing up would require significant expenditure on salaries (potentially at CEO levels) as well as investment capital.

The Transformation process has either failed, or simply hasn’t finished, according to your interpretation. Either way yet more large scale expenditure is coming down the road for SSDC’s council tax payers.

2 comments

  • My interpretation is “failed”. The process cannot be reversed if only because the most effective staff in Planning were probably the ones who grabbed the redundancy offer (before it anyone thought to withdraw it!) and now have more satisfying jobs elsewhere.

  • No is now the time for a Unitary Authority due to COVID-19 according to SSDC but perfectly acceptable to go through yet another process of Transformation. Why not Kill two birds with one stone? Reason? petty political reasons, refusing to do what’s right by the residents of this County

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