Staff reductions, recruitment freeze and restructures to save money at Doncaster Children's Services Trust

A number of budget savings have been made including the reduction in staff by bosses at Doncaster Children's Services Trust.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:35 pm
Doncaster Children's Services Trust

The trust  '“ is already under financial strain with an increased workload which led to the local authority signing off a £6 million loan to bridge their budget deficit.

More than £4 million was to deal with the ongoing pressures which rolled over from the 2017-2018 financial year.

But in a report seen by councillors, which is to be discussed at a meeting next week, has revealed around £1.2 million has been saved through '˜cost saving initiatives'.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The report outlines '˜non-frontline' staff have been cut by 22 per cent and agency staff which are more expensive to take on has reduced by 58 per cent.

A recruitment freeze has saved £167,000, savings on '˜residential homes' has brought in £100,000 and £617,000 has been recouped in restructuring leadership teams, business support, corporate support and services teams.

A regular review of staff mobile phone usage has taken place to identify individuals '˜who use more than their data allowance' and those who don't.

Regular assessments of taxi journey routes have also been requested through the council to ensure '˜costs of the journeys should fall to the Trust' and '˜reviews of travel arrangements and better planning of visits' are under review.

An introduction of online shopping for '˜families in need of emergency food' and reduced printing have also been looked at.

Rob Moore, director of corporate services & company secretary at Doncaster Children's Services Trust, said: 'The Trust's management team continues to pursue efficiency opportunities across the Trust, with open sessions planned in each locality to capture ideas from frontline staff.

"In addition there are a number of director / head of service-led forums which are generating and exploring ideas for efficiencies.

"A vacancy panel, comprising directors, reviews all agency extensions and requests to recruit or to temporarily cover vacant posts.

"Since October 2017 '“ September 2018 non-frontline full-time employees have reduced by 22 per cent and frontline agency (with. higher cost) full-time employees have reduced by 58 per cent.

"Other potential savings in relation to staff costs include: flexible working such as annual leave buy back, hours reduction and non-statutory vacant posts being held for three months.'