8 Feb 2019
Aylesbury Vale District Council’s (AVDC) latest budget report, which works to ensure core services are protected, was approved by Full Council on Wednesday 6 February.
The successfully balanced budget will cover the operation of AVDC for the next three years, even though the council will become part of the new single unitary authority, Buckinghamshire Council, in April 2020.
AVDC’s ability to balance its budget is the result of a long-term strategy which has seen the council implementing wide-ranging changes over the last nine years, saving the council more than £20 million. This has come through a range of actions, including efficiencies, restructures and its commercial programmes.
AVDC’s transformative work has included developing one of the best local authority digital programmes in the country, which works to improve services, with benefits such as greater convenience and less duplication, while also making savings. The programme includes an AI-assisted webchat service and an online MyAccount facility. AVDC is also the first council in the world to offer access to its services via a dedicated Amazon Alexa app.
Cllr Howard Mordue, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, commented:
“AVDC has faced unprecedented financial challenges with honesty, ingenuity, innovation and, foremost, ambition.
“We were the very first district council in the country to provide a lottery, and we also underwent a major reorganisation resulting in a more commercial approach to delivering our services. Even now, we are helping other councils to improve their services by selling our expertise, embarking on crowdfunding and have recently introduced a reward scheme for innovative ideas from our staff.
“AVDC’s proud financial legacy is a sound set of budgets and an organisation with a very clear sense of its financial pressures and opportunities. It is my upmost wish that the new Buckinghamshire Council truly embraces the successful approach adopted by AVDC and uses this in forging its own unitary budget.”
The approved budget for 2019/20, including the medium term financial plan, can be viewed by visiting: https://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/budget