A ‘value for money’ report from the Audit Commission dated 27th February
highlights that, ‘high central costs in some councils need greater
scrutiny,’ and identifies Warwickshire County Council as one of the worst
Using the latest available data, from 2012/13, the Audit Commission
analyses and then compares data across all the country’s county councils.
Warwickshire’s spend on central costs is 11.2% of its total spending,
nearly double the national average of 6.1%, putting it in the worst 5% of
county councils in the country.
County Councillor Kate Rolfe (Lib Dem, Stratford South) will be asking the
following question at the county council meeting on March 25th:
‘In its latest value for money report the Audit Commission identifies
Warwickshire County Council as one of the highest spenders in the country
- in the worst 5% – in the proportion of spending that goes on management
and back office services.
Will the Leader please explain why Warwickshire’s costs in this area are
so high and what she intends to do to remedy the situation?’
Cllr Rolfe commented, ‘This is not what council taxpayers want their
money spent on. It should be going on front line services, not on
management. I’m determined to find out what’s behind this, but I suspect
part of the reason may be that Warwickshire is one of the smallest
counties, which means that its fixed central costs are relatively high.
If this is part of the reason then it’s all the more reason for the
Conservatives to start taking more seriously Lib Dem proposals about
sharing services with other councils and public bodies.
We’ve been saying for a long time that costs are too high. It looks as
though the Audit Commission agrees with us so I hope at long last we can
see some action from the Conservatives on this to deliver better value
for money for local residents’.
To see the Audit Commission’s report and data, go to:
and click on ‘value for money profiles’ (underlined in the main body of
Then go to ‘select a council’ on the left hand side of the page:
select Warwickshire County Council from the table and confirm the
selection in the top box.
Select ‘county councils’ and confirm in the box labelled ‘Find and
highlight a comparison group’.
This will produce a table called ‘overview’.
Then click on the box at the top of the page labelled ‘financial
This produces another analysis, included in which is ‘Spend on management
and support (back office) services as a proportion of total service spend’
and which shows that amongst the country’s county councils Warwickshire
is in the highest 5%.