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Organisation action plan update from Emma Alexander and our executive directors

13 December 2023

It was great to see that over 1,700 colleagues joined our Teams live event, led by Emma Alexander and our executive directors on 5 December 2023.

During this session, Emma provided some key updates on our current financial situation and then talked colleagues through the key areas we are committed to make improvements in over the course of the coming months in our 2023/24 organisation action plan.

If you weren't able to join the session, you can watch the recording.

It was really unfortunate that there was a technical issue which meant the question and answer panel wasn't available during the session, but colleagues were encouraged to send in any questions to This is an open invitation and if colleagues have any further questions they'd like us to answer, please send them in.

Some questions were sent in after the event, and responses follow.

Would it be worth offering a centralised area for any employee to send in their cost saving or efficiency suggestions?

We are currently considering how a central approach to colleague suggestions could work including whether we have sufficient resources to manage such an approach on a day-to-day basis.

Ideas that relate to a specific area of work are often best understood by those doing that work, and they have the opportunity to directly influence their processes and ways of working. Where a centralised approach to receiving suggestions brings the most benefit is in the capture and progression of cross departmental or organisation wide suggestions.

Suggestions are already being taken forward as part of the organisation action plan approach following the employee survey and through the challenge for us all to think differently about how we do things to reduce our overall spend. It's important that when a colleague takes the time to make a suggestion there is the resource and process in place to consider it appropriately.

We'll continue to consider this over the coming weeks and understand feasibility of a centralised approach.

I helped set up SharePoint sites for other departments and I think CST should have one too

We are currently exploring the possibilities of SharePoint for CST and would welcome your input if you have been involved elsewhere. Email and we would be happy to discuss further.

When will the pay increase for Derbyshire County Council staff on the Soulbury Education Professionals be paid? There has been no cost of living increment since September 2022 as I understand that the pay recommendations from both September 2022 and September 2023 have not yet been accepted

The Soulbury pay awards for 2022 and 2023 are still to be agreed. The latest offer, made on 22 November 2023, is available on the Local Government Association's website. Once agreed, the pay awards will be backdated. As it stands, representatives of Soulbury employees are considering that offer. When we get further news, we will place an article in Our Derbyshire.

Appreciate obviously it's difficult given the current financial struggles but are we any closer to having professional membership subscriptions funded or at least part-funded by the council?

At the present time, there are no immediate plans to change the current arrangements on professional membership subscriptions, although we continue to review our overall reward offer for colleagues.

Where are we with the holiday buy-in scheme?

We are formulating an annual leave buy back scheme which is planned for consideration in 2024/25.

Is there any update on the County Hall situation?

You may have seen the updates we gave earlier in the year:

We are scheduled to bring back a report to Cabinet in the new year which will set out the next steps following the market engagement, so we should be in a position to share a more detailed update at that time.

What would be really helpful is if senior management could put more meat on the bones on exactly what is being done to tackle the deficit and in reality, what it means for us as employees?

As part of the budget-setting process for 2024 to 2025, all departments have been tasked with identifying financial pressures their services are under as well as savings or efficiencies that could be made.

Following this work, specific savings proposals have been drawn up and are currently being considered at a senior level with a view to them being presented to a Cabinet meeting on Thursday 11 January 2024.

The savings and efficiency options put forward where required will be consulted on as appropriate before any decisions are made.