Shepway District Council

The challenge

Shepway faced significant financial challenges. Members had recently voted to opt out of a potential shared arrangement with other councils in Kent. This put the financial challenge in sharp focus, the scale of which increases over the next three financial years. The total budget gap to be closed by the end of 2020/21 was £3.4m and for this to be achieved significant change needed to be implemented by April 2020. Shepway had several options to consider including transformation of the Council’s ways of working, and development of their asset base to create additional revenue.

The result

Ignite used their Future Model approach to help develop solutions to the financial challenge.

Ignite undertook a ‘blueprinting’ exercise to develop a business case for the full implementation of the model, which included significant engagement of staff across the organisation, a review of the technology implications and development of an organisational model to deliver new ways of working.

In the early stages, getting clarity of the vision from the senior team was key to building ownership and commitment to delivery of the vision. Our business case was underpinned by highly sophisticated activity and financial model enabling us to forecast the scale of financial benefit delivery through phases of implementation. Building the robust business case to underpin the approach was key to getting members aligned and committing to the business case.

The Council committed to the delivery of a new operating model aligned to Future Model principles.

What made it successful

  • Starting with the vision – Working with the senior leadership team to understand the need to create a vision for the future council – helping them understand the need to engage with staff in developing this vision and how that would help them make decisions for the future
  • Extensive staff engagement – Working with a wide range of staff during the early stages of the Blueprint process, followed by engagement with middle managers across the Council helped develop a sense of overall aspiration and capacity for transformational change. This ensured the business case was based on achievable benefit
  • Being flexible and adaptable – Ignite used the Future Model as a challenger model to test ambition and to baseline what could be achieved. However, adapting the model to suit the Council’s ambition and challenge helped them make decisions based on local strengths and needs
  • Developing internal capability – Ignite supported the development of capability within the internal team both in terms of developing the approach to culture and behaviour change, and programme management.