Better payment solutions, smarter public services

Local government authorities are facing financial pressures like never before, to the point where solvency is becoming a real issue. Four local authorities in the UK declared bankruptcy in 2023, and there is every chance that more will follow throughout 2024 and beyond.

There is only so much that authorities can do in addressing financial shortfalls by raising Council Tax, which means that more public services may have to be cut in order to balance the books. But it also means that no stone should be left unturned in trying to find cost efficiencies in every area of an authority’s operations and processes.

A time like no other

According to the Local Government Association, as many as 20% of councils may have to issue Section 114 notices this year, confirming to the Government that they are unable to balance their budget. This strain is already having a major and tangible effect on how authorities are run. For example, Leeds City Council, in an attempt to generate £58 million of savings, has announced it intends to cut 750 jobs, close care homes, and shut down the concert venue at Pudsey Civic Hall.

As well as financial concerns, authorities are fighting battles on several other fronts, including:

Flexible payments for healthier finance

One way in which some of the financial pressure can be eased is in using innovative payment solutions, which enable better control of budgets and more viable financial planning in the longer-term. Leasing is one of the simplest ways to achieve this, and it’s an area where SCC and local authorities have worked together successfully for many years, but it’s possible to take the cost efficiencies even further.

As an example of the payment solutions that SCC can provide, we can help spread the cost of ongoing software maintenance through negotiated payment agreements, thanks to our long-standing relationships with a wide range of leading vendors. Many of our existing business partners are already benefiting from reduced payments in the first year of the agreements, followed by predictable fixed-rate payments in the following years, which facilitates both cost savings and more accurate forecasting.

Alternatively, we can help you consolidate software, hardware and services into a single as-a-service plan, which is paid for through a single unified payment at a schedule that can be customised to specific needs and circumstances. And when older hardware becomes obsolete or is no longer fit for purpose, our Recyclea approach to device refurbishment, recycling and remarketing can either help you breathe new life into your devices, or generate revenue by having them securely refurbished and sold on.

In summary

At a time where every cost efficiency is critical for local authorities, we’re proud to be able to support our customers across the sector with payment flexibility, and more viable access to vital technology and innovation. Find out more on SCC’s range of payment options here.

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