Eastbourne Borough Council – Future Model

The challenge

Eastbourne is a local authority delivering to over 100,000 residents. Like many local authorities, Eastbourne faced the challenge of delivering its services with a smaller budget while remaining financially sustainable. Eastbourne needed to reframe the way it delivered services to customers and how the authority would organise itself around the customer to deliver services efficiently at lower cost. Eastbourne also wanted to have a more visible presence in the local community and be much closer to the customer.

The result

We explored a new operating model which restructured the council so that it was no longer organised by service lines, but around the customer. We helped Eastbourne focus on putting the customer first. Implementing a ‘customer first’ perspective meant breaking down silos, redesigning customer journeys and processes, automating to give customers greater on-line access and changing the culture. By implementing the innovative service delivery model, Eastbourne was able to reduce its cost base by 20%. In addition, Eastbourne achieved:


  • A single view of its customers across all services enabling more streamlined customer journeys, issues resolved more quickly and fewer hand offs/touch points
  • Greater resilience across services, especially housing – a significant benefit given welfare reform and the needs of vulnerable households
  • A larger, integrated Neighbourhood First team – highly visible in the community
  • Customers with a wider choice of channels; web self serve, phone, SMS, face to face; and the ability to track progress on queries
  • Faster processing of applications and cases
  • Staff benefited from more flexible and empowered roles and the capacity for senior staff to focus on those areas that genuinely required their expertise. As a result, there was an enhanced strategic capacity and capability to manage and deliver key corporate projects and the outcomes in the corporate plan

What made it successful

  • Insight – We introduced a radical Future Model concept to challenge the traditional siloed view of a council. This helped management and staff visualise what the organisation could look like in the future
  • Innovation – We used the Ignite Innovation and Change approach to design and deliver a stretching vision for clients
  • A holistic view of the operating model – ensuring that all aspects of the model were designed as one integrated and connected whole
  • Collaboration with staff at all levels to develop a plan that was achievable
  • Great delivery – We made the plan a reality by working alongside client staff through the complex implementation
  • Focus on results – By using a very robust activity based financial model to create the business case and to manage delivery of the planned benefits
  • Engagement – Throughout the process we engaged widely with those impacted by the change. High levels of engagement and transparency resulted in staff members ‘buying into’ the change at an early stage.