The brief

With a reputation for high performance, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is proud to deliver quality services. However, like most authorities currently, the Council has been facing increasing and significant financial challenges. External funding has continued to be reduced, while residents have ever-increasing expectations of the services they want the Council to provide.

The Council has one of the largest local authority investment and property portfolios in the country. However, these funds were already earmarked for property services and balances were at minimum levels. With funds fully invested and savings opportunities virtually exhausted, the Council recognised it needed to think and work differently.

Aware that there would be less money available to provide services, the Council could have focused on cutting them. Instead, the Council looked to establish a new programme to focus on potential opportunities to become more commercial in approaches to service delivery and to find ways to generate additional income to support the delivery of its services. It was important that any additional income to be generated must be with a purpose, namely, to provide social value to the residents of Basingstoke and Deane.

In order to mobilise the new commercial approach, Basingstoke and Deane engaged C.Co to work collaboratively with all members of the Council’s management team.

C.Co’s approach

Working collaboratively with the Council, C.Co helped to develop a vision and value proposition for the commercial approach and followed this up with providing examples of best practice from across the sector and beyond to stimulate innovation.

The outcome

Taking the initial brief, C.Co covered all aspects of current Council service provision, considered new provision and generated a total of 55 individual ideas, that were evaluated and verified by the senior management team.  By adopting this approach, council staff were able to focus on developing new creative ideas, innovation and income streams, as well as building new commercial acumen.

C.Co helped to shape and develop the proposals, looking at the contribution they would make, not only financially but also in terms of their social impact. From this, a first raft of opportunities was progressed to Outline Business Cases to stimulate their rapid delivery.

The team took a Business Model Canvass approach to capture a number of different elements that describe these proposed models’ value proposition, by considering their infrastructure, customers, key activities, market, potential revenue stream and finances, and looking at all of these elements holistically. This approach illustrates any gaps, misalignments and potential trade-offs necessary for success. The information gathered was then underpinned with C.Co’s in-depth sector knowledge, financial analysis and an understanding of good practice and lessons learnt from across the sector and beyond.

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