The top tier of local government has collectively promised to save more than £1bn by the end of the financial year, with improvements in staff productivity and back-office functions driving the savings, research has revealed.
An analysis of the UK's top 150 councils' unpublished annual efficiency statements, by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC), showed that the majority expect to meet this year's target of saving 2.5% of their budget.
The savings are part of a three-year efficiency drive across local government prompted by last year's Gershon review. The overall target is to save £6.45bn by the end of 2007-08 - with a compulsion to make all savings without cutting services.
The authorities have promised to save more than 120m by driving efficiencies in 'corporate services', which includes back-office functions such as HR.