Recovery and Reset

Tamworth Borough Council is working on a ‘Recovery and Reset’ programme which aims to consider how we can tackle the financial challenges facing the authority over the next five years.

While budgets are balanced in the short-term, we know we have some challenges on the horizon. These are mainly due to planned Government funding reforms and the huge financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, we are currently predicting a £7million shortfall over the next five years.

The Recovery and Reset programme is about determining how we can make sure we are in the best possible shape to face those challenges while protecting services to the community, and the most vulnerable members of that community.

We’ll be looking at how savings can be made, how income can be generated and how services can be tailored to ensure they are meeting the demand where it is needed most.

A number of recommendations were proposed and these were approved by Cabinet on July 29 and Full Council on August 25, 2021.

The headline actions include:

  • To commence the decommissioning of Marmion House to achieve estimated savings of £3.5m over five years
  • To further investigate opportunities for the future of the Marmion House site
  • Begin detailed engagement around future options for the front reception service and how it should be delivered from a new town centre base
  • To establish Tamworth Town Hall as the municipal headquarters of the town
  • To begin formal consultations with members of Tamworth Borough Council staff around new smart working principles, enabling a more hybrid approach between home-based and office-based working
  • Support the development of a vulnerability strategy together with key partners from the voluntary sector to ensure that help is always readily and easily available to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of the community
  • Support the wider town centre economy in recovery from the pandemic.

April 2022 update

On April 7, 2022, a number of further recommendations, to progress the above plans, were approved by members of Tamworth Borough Council's Cabinet.

Primarily, it was decided that the Marmion House site will be marketed for sale this summer (2022), with flexible housing development being identified as the likely potential use following extensive feasibility studies and soft market testing.

The council is exploring options for a new, smaller, town centre location for both back office functions and front reception. Several sites have been assessed, and plans are progressing with a council-owned building in Spinning School Lane as the preferred option. However, this is subject to full building and design surveys and a financial assessment.

Cabinet also approved the continuation of face-to-face signposting services at Tamworth Information Centre, in Tamworth Assembly Rooms, for any residents who need in-person support in the meantime.

You can read more about the April 7 Cabinet update here.

Read more about the proposals in our previous news articles:

Read more about our Building Requirements & Use project.

FAQs:

Q: Why is there such a funding gap
A: Tamworth Borough Council has balanced budgets for the next three years. This is about preparing for a predicted shortfall beyond that due to the impact of the pandemic and planned future cuts in Government funding, and taking sensible decisions now to protect services for the future.

Q. Will staff be working from home permanently and how will this impact on us?
A. The approved recommendation is that Tamworth Borough Council will explore moving to a more flexible smart working arrangement which includes a mixture of home working and site or office-based working. The pandemic has shown that staff can work from home successfully and they have continued to deliver service levels over and above normal workloads due to the additional challenges of the last 18 months. It therefore makes sense to review the way we work and how this can be adapted to make the best use of our assets and improve access to services in a way that also gives staff the flexibility they need to maintain a good work/life balance.

Q. What will the front desk reception look like?
A. As part of the recommendations, councillors have committed to providing a town centre reception service. Exactly how this will look will now be explored as part of the next phase of the programme. This will involve detailed engagement with the relevant parties. Alongside this, the plan is to provide an enhanced digital offer for people who prefer to access services in their own time.

Q: What about those residents who are not online, or maybe don’t even have a computer?
A: A key part of the programme is to identify and define vulnerability and what people’s needs are in Tamworth working with our key voluntary organisations and other partners. Once we have this information, we will be able to tailor our services to ensure help is getting to those who need it most. In the meantime, people can continue to call instead and if needed, face-to-face appointments can be requested.

Q. What if we need to see someone face to face?
A: Many of our services can be easily be resolved online or via a phone call. However in those instances where people do need additional support, or on the rare occasion it’s something that has to be resolved in person then we will do so via a pre booked appointment. 

Q. Why are you not renting Marmion House out?
A: Despite our efforts to let out parts of the building there has been very little interest. Parts of the building are in need of improvement and the general size/layout of the building is not attractive to the rental market. There is little evidence to suggest that there is a rental market for a building of this size and nature within Tamworth.

Q. Will there be redundancies?
A. For a significant amount of time Tamworth Borough Council has regularly managed change through service redesign, service cessation or indeed changes in demand and more recently the job losses suffered due to the pandemic. At this moment in time there are no planned redundancies, and our immediate priorities are to deal with exploration around the use of Marmion House site, adopt smart working and ensure our most vulnerable residents are supported.  

Q: How do residents access face to face help in the meantime?
A: Many of our services can easily be resolved online or via a phone call. However in those instances where people do need additional support, or on the rare occasion it’s something that has to be resolved in person then we will do so via a pre booked appointment. 

Q: Does Tamworth Borough Council own Marmion House or do they/we rent/lease it?
A: Tamworth Borough Council owns the Freehold interest in Marmion House

Do you have a question? Please email it to recoveryandreset@tamworth.gov.uk