The Minister said:
“Since my announcement in May, interest in the new £60 million Invest-to-Save Fund has been brisk with a considerable number of enquiries and over 100 expressions of interest being put forward for consideration.”
Announcing the first successful projects the Minister said:
“I am pleased that there is keen interest from organisations seeking support from this new fund. Public service providers need to find ways to work smarter and this fund will help them to implement changes that lead to the release of efficiency savings. I am pleased to announce that 17 projects will be supported at this time with some £8.2 million being invested from the fund. Further projects are under consideration and I also plan to open the fund up again to new applications in November.
“Tighter budgets need to be framed around efficiencies – that means focussing on improving services and at the same time reducing costs and obtaining the greatest value possible for the Welsh pound. The Invest-to-save Fund helps pump-prime the introduction of new, more efficient ways of working and therefore supports the delivery of efficiency savings. I am encouraging public bodies to take full advantage of this Fund to help them bring forward beneficial change.”
Amongst the projects being approved are:
- A single state-of-the art CCTV control room covering North Wales – a collaborative project involving the 6 North Wales Local Authorities and North Wales Police where £450,000 annual efficiency savings are projected.
- An integrated electronic NHS web based expenses system which will replace the current paper based system and release savings of £98,000 per annum – implemented in the first stage by the North Wales Business Support Partnership.
- Preparation of detailed proposals for possible merger between Powys CC and Powys Teaching Local Health Board where efficiency savings of £1 – £2.5 million are thought possible.
- Implementing the groundbreaking xchangewales e-Trading suite of tools in Merthyr CBC, moving the authority from a traditional paper-based system to a 21st century arrangement that could make £8 million of efficiency savings over five years. There is scope for other organisations to adopt xchangewales where support from Invest-to-save can be made available.
- A service to prevent looked after children from the Swansea area being placed out of area and to bring about a swifter return for those already out of the area – the proposal is forecast to improve the existing service and bring about efficiencies of £147,000 per placement.
16 October 2009