Enterprising council

On 22 February 2018 our Cabinet approved a report which set out proposals to move us towards being an enterprising council. This new approach will involve big changes in how we deliver services to residents and the ways in which our employees work.

Read the Cabinet report about being an enterprising council.

This page is to help you understand how things are changing, and what being an enterprising council means.

We will update you regularly on this page and through the Our Derbyshire employee e-newsletter.

Reasons for the change

Like every other council in the country our money has to stretch even further than it has in the past. And as well as having less to spend, the number of older people, people with dementia and children at risk of harm is rising, putting more pressure on our budget.

It is more important than ever that we put value for money at the heart of everything we do. Already around 50% of what we do is provided by voluntary or commercial organisations and this will undoubtedly increase in the future.

But it's not all about saving money. For any large organisation it is important to change as the world changes, to modernise and take advantage of new technology and better ways of doing things both for our residents and our employees.

To provide the 21st century services local people want and need we must rise to the challenge by thinking and doing things differently, by not shirking bold decisions or change, and by being commercially-minded in seeking the best results out of every penny we spend.

In short, we need to be enterprising in everything we do.

Being an enterprising council means:

  • value for money is at the heart of everything we do
  • we are efficient and effective
  • we focus on getting the best results for our residents whether that's by delivering a service ourselves or by using an external organisation - there is no one size fits all
  • we have a bold, innovative and commercial mind-set and we think and act as if our residents can choose who delivers their services
  • we do things 'with' local people rather than 'to' them and we value fairness, openness and partnership
  • we are proud of Derbyshire and ambitious for our public services.

And for our employees it means:

  • you are empowered to think and do things differently
  • we will support you to embrace change and the new opportunities it brings
  • we want our employees to be enterprising and come forward with ideas - you will be listened to and we will promote a 'no blame' culture
  • we are one council − we work as a team across all departments.

More commissioned services

Today, around 50% of our services are already run on our behalf by the voluntary sector, parish councils, public-private partnerships, private contractors or community interest companies. This is called commissioning services and we are planning to do more of it in the future through the enterprising council approach, including looking at sharing or trading services with other councils.

It's about being open-minded in finding the best, most cost-effective way of providing the services local people want and need − whether that's by delivering them ourselves or in partnership with other organisations.

In the future fewer of us are likely to work for the council and more of us are likely to work for other organisations delivering public services on our behalf.

It will mean change but change means new opportunities there for the taking, wider horizons, more chances to get involved in shaping our future, exciting new way of working, new organisations to work for, and freedom from needless bureaucracy and red tape.

Your service could continue to be run by us in the same way you deliver services now, or your service could be run by another organisation.

But if we decide that this is the best option for your service you will be consulted and kept fully informed throughout the process.

If your employer changes then there is legislation in place to protect you. This is known as a transfer of undertakings (TUPE).

Read more about TUPE.

Affected services

Every service will be reviewed to see if there is a better way to organise them or buy them. Your manager will keep you up to date.

On 22 February 2018 Cabinet discussed reviewing the services listed below using the enterprising council approach.

There are many reasons why the services below are planned to be reviewed and it is not because these services are poor or failing. The reasons they are being reviewed include:

  • opportunities to get a better deal for services that are already bought in from outside companies − for example by combining a number of smaller contracts across the council into a larger one
  • existing external contracts are coming to an end
  • looking at better, more modern ways of doing things that fit with the way people live their lives today
  • additional pressures are expected on a service in the future
  • significant budget savings need to be found
  • looking at bringing more income into a service
  • seeing if a service could benefit from being set up outside the council − for example by becoming a charity or a public interest company.

The services to be reviewed first are:

Occupational Health

Our Occupational Health Service provides support to employees and their managers. The service includes a small number of staff, and buys some services in. Existing contracts come to an end between October 2018 and March 2019 so it is a good time to review the whole service and consider options for future service delivery.

Assistive Technology

This service provides alarm monitoring services for older and vulnerable people, such as telecare and telemedicine. We have a range of external contracts with a variety of companies but there are opportunities to buy these services in a more efficient way, giving us better value for money.

Learning Disabilities

An engagement exercise is under way involving discussions with people with learning disabilities, families, carers and staff. We are asking people how we could better support them to achieve their ambitions. This may mean we need to shape the way we commission and provide services enabling greater personal choice and flexibility. The service costs £14.4 million and employs 207 day service workers who work with 950 people.


We have 45 libraries and two mobile libraries. A new strategy is being developed to look at different ways to deliver public library services.


Property provide a range of services including cleaning, building maintenance, construction and grounds maintenance. Property will review options for delivering a more sustainable and cost effective service, across all areas of professional and operational teams, including all fee earning and traded services.

Highways and fleet management

This includes highways network management, maintenance, street lighting, traffic and safety, highways structures, design, construction, laboratory, strategy, highway tree management, public rights of way, road safety, County Transport fleet management service and associated business support. These services employ around 430 staff and have over 150 different contracts with organisations.

Leaving care

This service supports children in our care to make a positive move to an independent life. Increasing numbers of children coming into care and new responsibilities to support care leavers up to the age of 25 are putting additional pressure on the service. A new service approach will be developed and it is anticipated that, subject to appropriate reports to Cabinet, consultation will commence in March 2018 and any changes to service delivery arising will be implemented from July 2019.

Sports and outdoor service

The sports and outdoor service, which includes two residential centres at Lea Green and Whitehall, and the school swimming service, needs to reduce the amount of money it has from us from £607,000 to zero by 2019/20. In order to do this the service is looking at different ownership models. Options will be presented to Cabinet in July 2018 with implementation of any recommendations by the end of 2019.

Thriving Communities

Work will start to assess a number of options to mainstream work on Thriving Communities.

New approach