Council's approach to commercialism is recognised as 'stand out'

Mendip District Council has been recognised as 'stand out' by the Local Government Association (LGA) for their work on commercialism.

A productivity expert from the LGA has recently worked with officers at the council on enhancing the council's approach to commercialising service delivery and building capacity and resilience for the future.

Cllr O'LearyThe LGA are now inviting new applications for the Productivity Expert scheme and as a result have highlighted 10 of the 42 council projects as 'stand out', of which Mendip's work on commercialism was recognised as one of those projects.

The aim of the programme was to help safeguard frontline services by supporting income generation and helping the council meet efficiency and income targets.

Cllr Barry O'Leary, Portfolio Holder for Enterprise and Finance, said: "It's encouraging to hear that the recent work with the LGA has been recognised as 'stand out'. Clearly the officers involved worked hard with the support of the LGA to build on and strengthen existing work streams.

"The work has allowed the council to develop a commercial strategy and the adoption of a framework approach that now assists the council in identifying and developing new opportunities  and this is something that I will take forward under the portfolio of Finance and Enterprise. 

"Local government is still in a period of reduced funding.  The Council faces a revenue budget gap which is currently estimated to be £4.1M between now and 2024.  The new administration recognises the requirement to take a more commercial approach to be self-sufficient financially and ensure that the services we deliver to our communities are not adversely affected by reduced funding.

"Commercialism does not just mean making a profit.  It means the ability to think and act more business-like when considering the ways we manage, operate, deliver and resource our services and products in order to deliver best value for communities and customers.

"It is rewarding to be working with officers that have a can-do attitude and a desire to be part of something innovative.  As a new administration, we will be working closely with these officers to safeguard services by growing our revenue through commercial and ambitious investment, innovative development, and cost reduction of services."

The learning from the project was through practical experience and has left the council with a pool of experienced and multi-skilled commercial project experts. Those internal experts have been able to share their learning across the council, which has developed a commercial culture across the local authority.  

To read more about the commercialism work that Mendip District Council worked with the LGA on, you can view a case study on the LGA website; www.local.gov.uk/commercialism-mendip-district-council