Councils save more than £1Bn during the first 12 years of iESE transformation

The not-for-profit body set up by local authorities to support them with transformation and savings challenges is now more than 12 years old – with it’s member councils having saved more than  £1 Billion over the past decade.

More than 95% of councils in England & Wales have become more efficient through working with the national Innovation & Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE) – since its launch in 2004.

Set up to offer expert consultancy “by the public sector, for the public sector” and owned by its member councils, iESE has broken new ground in transformation – with hundreds of millions in savings, ranging from procurement to waste and social care.

Working with authorities from every tier, it has delivered a host of best practice solutions for councils, including:

Social Care - Care Funding Calculator (£63m savings)

More than £63m has been saved by authorities using iESE’s care funding calculator (CFC), which allows care staff to plan and project the daily care required for every client, and then generate the expected market cost – allowing councils to control spiralling care costs, while maintaining service quality. It is now a core part of service planning at large authorities like Coventry City Council.

Organisational Design/Shared Services 

Reviews of both front and back end functions at a range of councils have delivered more than £120m in savings for the sector. 

Stretching from individual service design reviews to shared service models for councils across the country, iESE has become the go-to organisation for measurable transformation.

A recent single project at South Hams and West Devon councils – building a shared service function for both authorities across its corporate services divisions – will not only deliver a customer-focussed new operating model for both councils, but will also save the two districts more than £4m – almost a third of the average district council budget.

Procurement – Shared services and Service Reviews 

Millions has been saved through more effective procurement practices led by iESE. With solutions ranging from e-procurement solutions to – critically – leading the way in joint tenders and multi-council framework contracts, iESE has been central to council’s leveraging their cumulative buying power to drive down costs.

The agency’s procurement solutions have delivered million-pound plus savings even in smaller district authorities – a procurement review for Waverley BC and Bracknell Forest DC led to savings of around £1m per authority.

iESE CEO Dr Andrew Larner said: “We’re incredibly proud of the way our member councils have taken up the financial challenge over the last decade – and particularly in recent years as funding has dropped away significantly.

“It’s all too easy to criticise local authorities from afar, when the truth is that they are among the most efficient element of the public sector – as these figures prove. Not only that, they can evidence it through deliverable savings. The work councils have put in to meet the austerity challenge has been phenomenal – it’s just a shame that so many aren’t recognised for the huge transformation they’re delivering day in and day out.

“Obviously we’re equally proud of the contribution we’ve made through iESE, for every £1 councils invest with us, they get an average return on investment of £5 – we think that’s a pretty good return.”



Editorial Notes

  • The Innovations & Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE) is Local Government’s national efficiency partner – using its experience across both service delivery and corporate functions to help authorities find new ways to meet the financial challenge.
  • It was set up in 2004 and became a social enterprise in 2012.
  • It has worked with more than 95% of councils in England & Wales and saved more than £1 Billion for its members.
  • As a not-for-profit body, it focuses on outcomes, not profits – investing its surplusss in research on behalf of the sector