Time to pull the belts in and batten down the hatches – again
Tracie Langley says her task of signing off that a budget is robust has to be based on a significant confidence that savings are deliverable, which is becoming tougher when costs are increasing 'without any relationship to the consumer price index'.
Building a better funding model
As councils switch their financial strategies from revenue to capital expenditure to build back better, Tracie Langley is still hopeful the Government will come up trumps with a local government funding model
In times of financial uncertainty, clear and simple narratives are key
Tracie Langley has been asked how she keeps her nerve as a section 151 'in the face of what is a quite squeaky financial position'. The first thing she tells herself is that nothing is impossible.
'Project speed' gains pace in Cornwall
As part of ‘project speed’, Cornwall Council is reviewing its capital and investment project process to ensure each part is as efficient as it can be without losing the integrity of a sound, value for money decision, says Tracie Langley.
Addressing the challenges of hybrid working
Tracie Langley says working through COVID-19 has shown how we can deliver in different ways and highlighted some areas that need to be improved if we are to continue to work in a hybrid way.
Planning is the key to success
Cornwall Council's finance team has delivered a huge amount during the past year, says Tracie Langley. The team is already thinking about how to improve next year’s budget setting and monitoring processes, she adds.
Facing down the fraudsters
Tracie Langley offers three lines of attack to protect councils responsible for passporting significantly more money than normal from fraudsters.
The devil is in the detail
Tracie Langley says that while the additional Spending Review cash helps, ‘it doesn’t help the base budget position we were already managing’.
Hoping to pack a much bigger punch
Delivering council-wide savings rather than micro services reductions is the order of the day, writes Tracie Langley - 'but if we get it right, our staff will find new energy in new skills as part of multi-functional teams'.
Giving certainty in an uncertain world
Chief operating officer at Cornwall Council Tracie Langley looks at how to do financial planning in an era of huge uncertainty.
The case for change has never been stronger
Even though councils' financial positions are difficult, 'we must work out how we redirect our resources to deliver outcomes that will make a difference', says Tracie Langley.
If we have to issue a s114 notice 'we have failed'
Tracie Langley's experience tells her 'a s114 is only necessary when there is no other option - 'and with support, there is always another option, thereby maintaining control where it should sit, with the members'.
'We cannot sleepwalk into going back to normal'
After the pandemic, 'our plans must include how we keep hold of some of the brilliant things we have done over the last month', says Tracie Langley.
When this is all over we will be different
Interim chief operating officer at Cornwall Council, Tracie Langley, views her leadership role as developing mechanisms for quick and safe decision-making and providing clarity over how emergency processes can work.
Keeping up with the cost of population growth
Tracie Langley offers a three point narrative for resolving the complexity of budget management in the face of massive demand and complex local economic environments.
Why telling a straight story matters
How do you create the compelling narrative that in the first case secures funding, but also engages people who need to change how they think and what they do, asks Tracie Langley. Sometimes reality is just too complex - 'so simple narratives work'.
Be clear on the service benefits of digitisation
Tracie Langley says digitisation is 'worth every single penny' - but it is the service redesign that gives the benefit, not just a shiny new system.