Following the publication of a review of the county council’s finance function by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), Surrey leader David Hodge said:
“It’s well known that local government budgets across the country are under severe pressure. However we have a duty to ensure the council remains as financially sound as possible in these unprecedented times and that’s why we asked CIPFA to do this review.
“While we have achieved a balanced budget or small underspend in the past eight years we actively wanted our financial situation to be independently challenged. We know there is much more to do to make our finances sustainable and able to withstand the huge pressures in adult and children’s services that we’ll continue to face into the future.
“But with a new senior team leading the council, including an interim director of finance, we’re taking all the right steps to achieve this. That includes the work to transform services around residents’ needs, bolstering skills and capacity in the finance team and a review of our Orbis partnership looking at how things can be done better.
“It’s critical that we discharge our responsibility to our residents and ensure every penny of their council tax is spent as effectively as possible.”
Other action taken:
* Appointed new executive directors and restructured all directorates across the council.
* Developed plans to manage extra demand and reduce costs this year.
* Improved financial communications with councillors to ensure the highest standards of financial management are achieved.
* Developing business cases to transform future services to maximise efficiency.