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A message from Managing Director, Emma Alexander 2 May 2024

2 May 2024

At our recent Shaping the Future and Leadership forums, I updated colleagues on our financial situation and also shared my thoughts on the opportunities ahead of us.

Despite some very real and significant challenges, we have set a balanced budget for 2024/25 and we have a sensible savings plan to allow us to deliver it.

Although this is good news, the challenge remains absolutely that we need to keep focussed on controlling costs. Our balanced budget is cause for optimism – but only if we deliver the budget and savings. Our financial situation remains serious, and we know that continuing to use reserves is not a sustainable solution. If we're not able to deliver the savings outlined in our 2024/25 budget, we will have to find them elsewhere.

In a financial environment where things could easily feel bleak – please remember that we have a solid plan to get to a better place and a more positive future. We must work together to ensure that we get there and deliver this budget.

We cannot return to where we were before, we must move on to something new, a place where we look at spending in a different way. It's vital that everyone plays their part in managing costs effectively, making mature judgements about priorities and following our enterprising council approach.

From May, we will move away from restricting 'non-essential spend' centrally, instead, leaders are responsible for ensuring that departments only spend money which can be managed within existing budgets. Orders placed through the SAP system will continue to require assistant director approval, however, this approach will be reviewed by executive directors where it is causing operational difficulties.

Recruitment requests will also return to being managed within departments rather than being considered centrally.

We now have a shared mission to question every pound that we spend and get maximum value from every penny as we deliver our services.

I'd like to thank you for your support and commitment to Derbyshire residents as we work together to navigate our way towards a brighter future.