To:      Executive

Date:   19 July 2022



Corporate Business Change Programme

Chief Executive

1          Purpose of Report

1.1       To seek the Executive’s approval of the corporate business change programme’s narrative and priority projects as summarised in Annex One. 

2          Recommendation

2.1       The Executive endorses the refocussed Business Change and Transformation programme as set out in Annex A, recognising that there will need to be flexibility to adjust the programme as necessary in response to changing circumstances.

3          Reasons for Recommendation

3.1       The programme’s narrative sets out clear aims and direction for the delivery of the corporate change programme and enables the council to prioritise its resources and CMT’s oversight on the projects identified. 

4          Alternative Options Considered

4.1       None.

5          Supporting Information

5.1       When the Council introduced its Transformation and Business Change Programme in 2016 it was faced with a severe budget crisis.  The 2016/17 budget relied on £5m of reserves to fund services, leaving only £14m available to support the future years.  Significant financial reductions were therefore the priority and the programme successfully delivered £12m in savings before the pandemic.  Our wider actions since 2016 mean we are in a more stable financial position, although longer term challenges clearly remain for the whole local government sector.  Nonetheless, despite our relatively strong position within Bracknell Forest we need to continue to adapt and change in a planned way in sufficient time to maintain a long term, sustainable future in advance of the longer term challenges that will come. 

5.2       There are important other drivers for undertaking this review at this time.  During the pandemic a number of projects in the corporate change programme were paused as resource had to be re-focussed on the Covid community response.  Over the past year the council has been focussed on recovery from the pandemic and responding to the pressures and wider issues that it has presented including, for example challenges in the jobs market and supply chain stemming from Brexit and the cost and supply pressures that have been a direct result of the Ukraine war.  Over the past year new legislative and regulatory requirements have also been introduced which the Council needs to respond to.    

5.3       In consultation with the Executive Member for Finance and Transformation and the Executive, the Corporate Management Team have therefore reviewed the aims of the corporate business change programme and its priority projects to ensure that it directs resources and capacity to those areas most in need of support and change and that the overall focus becomes one of providing good quality, long term sustainable services rather than simply identifying savings.

5.4       Within the refocussed programme there will be three key themes under the overarching objective of “delivering long term sustainable services”:

         Responding to any major policy and legislative changes;

         Addressing any serious service weaknesses;

         Supporting the organisation to move towards long term financial sustainability.

All projects within the programme will deliver on at least one of these themes to help us deliver quality, sustainable services that achieve good outcomes for residents.  Projects that will form the initial focus are summarised in Annex A.  In driving the programme forward, however, it is also important to recognise that circumstances do change, both internal and external, and that the Council will need to be flexible in adapting the programme to meet such changes.  CMT keep progress under regular review and any significant changes will be put to Members at the appropriate time.

6          Consultation and Other Considerations

Legal Advice

6.1       There are no legal implications.

Financial Advice

6.2       There are no new financial implications arising the report.

Equalities Impact Assessment

6.3       Equality impact assessments are produced in advance of the delivery of all corporate change projects and kept under review. 

Strategic Risk Management Issues

6.5       These are managed through the corporate strategic risk register and its regular review. 

Climate Change Implications

6.6       The recommendations in Section 2 above are expected to reduce emissions of CO2. The reasons the Council believes that this will reduce emissions is that the climate change programme of work is prioritised for focus and resource within the corporate programme.

Health & Wellbeing Considerations

6.7       A ‘Health in All Policies’ approach has been adopted by the council and maximising health and wellbeing outcomes is a part of programme and project planning.

Background Papers


Annex One - Corporate Business Programme slides


Contact for further information


Timothy Wheadon, Chief Executive - 01344 355609


Abby Thomas, Assistant Director, Chief Executive’s Office – 01344 353307