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Enterprising council

We’re taking a new approach to the way we deliver services.

To provide the 21st century services local people want and need we must rise to the challenge by thinking and doing things differently, by not shirking bold decisions or change, and by being commercially-minded in seeking the best results out of every penny we spend.

We call this being an Enterprising Council.

Cabinet members agreed a strategy setting out how we will achieve this at a meeting on 31 January 2019. The report is attached to this page.

We'll help you understand how things are changing, and what being an Enterprising Council means.

We'll update you regularly on this page and through the Our Derbyshire employee e-newsletter.

Watch our video to hear more from the Council Leader Barry Lewis and our approach to being an Enterprising Council.

You can find out more in the Council Leader's blog.

Reasons for the change

Like every other council in the country our money has to stretch even further than it has in the past. And as well as having less to spend, the number of older people, people with dementia and children at risk of harm is rising, putting more pressure on our budget.

It's more important than ever that we put value for money at the heart of everything we do. Already around 50% of what we do is provided by voluntary or commercial organisations and this will undoubtedly increase in the future.

But it's not all about saving money. For any large organisation it is important to change as the world changes, to modernise and take advantage of new technology and better ways of doing things both for our residents and our employees.

In short, we need to be enterprising in everything we do.

Being an enterprising council means:

  • value for money is at the heart of everything we do
  • we are efficient and effective
  • we focus on getting the best results for our residents whether that's by delivering a service ourselves or by using an external organisation - there is no one size fits all
  • we have a bold, innovative and commercial mind-set
  • we do things 'with' local people rather than 'to' them and we value fairness, openness and partnership
  • we are proud of Derbyshire and ambitious for our public services

And for our employees it means:

  • you are empowered to think and do things differently
  • we will support you to embrace change and the new opportunities it brings
  • we want our employees to be enterprising and come forward with ideas - you will be listened to and we will promote a 'no blame' culture
  • we are one council − we work as a team across all departments

Finding the best fit for our services

Today, around 50% of our services are already run on our behalf by the voluntary sector, parish councils, public-private partnerships, private contractors or community interest companies. This is called commissioning services and we are planning to do more of it in the future through the enterprising council approach, including looking at sharing or trading services with other councils.

It's about being open-minded in finding the best, most cost-effective way of providing the services local people want and need − whether that's by delivering them ourselves or in partnership with other organisations.

In the future fewer of us are likely to work for the council and more of us are likely to work for other organisations delivering public services on our behalf.

It will mean change but change means new opportunities there for the taking, wider horizons, more chances to get involved in shaping our future, exciting new way of working, new organisations to work for, and freedom from needless bureaucracy and red tape.

Your service could continue to be run by us in the same way you deliver services now, or your service could be run by another organisation.

But if we decide that this is the best option for your service you will be consulted and kept fully informed throughout the process.

If your employer changes then there is legislation in place to protect you. This is known as a transfer of undertakings (TUPE).

Read more about TUPE.


Work towards achieving our ambition of becoming an enterprising council is gathering pace.

Our enterprising council approach is all about looking for opportunities to make the best of the resources we have such as money, staff, buildings and equipment.

It’s an ongoing process to help us make sure we are providing value for money, working efficiently and effectively with a commercial mind-set and focusing on getting the best results for our residents.

Five groups of senior staff have been set up to help guide this work with each group focusing on a different area. They are:

Systems and processes

Looking at what we can do to cut red tape and bureaucracy. This will help streamline the way we work and give staff greater freedom to make decisions.

Lead officer

Peter Handford, Director of Finance and ICT, supported by Joe Battye, Service Director for Economy and Regeneration for Economy, Transport and Environment.

Organisation development, skills and resources

Our staff are our greatest asset and this group is looking at what we can do as an employer to help our employees be the best that they can be. That means looking at the type of support and training people need to develop their skills and improve.

We’ve taken on board the comments made as part of our staff survey and we’ll be taking these into account as part of this work.

Lead officer

Emma Crapper, Director for Organisation, Development and Policy in Commissioning, Communities and Policy.

Service reviews

We’ll be looking at all the services we provide to see if there is a better way of delivering them. You can find out which services will be looked at first on our enterprising council page.

Lead officer

Iain Peel, Service Director for Schools and Learning in Children’s Services.

Customer focus

This group is looking at how we deal with people. It includes refreshing our customer charter which sets out our commitment to the people we serve, assessing what more we can do to help our residents to help themselves and looking at the different ways in which departments consult with the public so that we can develop a standard approach across all departments.

Lead officer

Julie Vollor, Service Director for Commissioning and Performance in Adult Care, supported by Angela Glithero, Assistant Director for Resources and Improvement in Economy, Transport and Environment.

Budget and savings

We have to make budget savings of £70 million in the next 5 years. As well as making sure departments are on track to make the savings they need to make, this group will look for new ways that services can generate income and will set-up a Value-for-Money Board to make sure that every penny we spend is being used wisely.

Lead officer

Peter Handford, Director of Finance and ICT.