My Department will deliver efficiency savings in the next financial year by driving down our core running costs and through key contracts that have been renegotiated. This is expected to deliver efficiency savings of around £11 million: £4.2 million from information technology, £6.5 million from buildings and £0.6 million from facilities management.
I welcome the steps that the Secretary of State is taking to realise efficiency savings and improve accountability and transparency. Does my right hon. Friend agree that more must be done to create a real value-for-money culture in more local councils in the country, and that that aim should feature more strongly in public servants’ objectives so that it is reflected in their work in the communities and for council tax payers?
My hon. Friend makes a reasonable point. It is particularly important for my Department to take a lead. That is why we have been so keen to reduce the central costs of our budgets and to take a lead in reorganising the Department to recognise its changing role, whereby it no longer dictates to local government, but tries to enable more power to go to local communities.