Decision details

Utilisation of the Invest To Save Reserve

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Finance

Decision status: Item Called In

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval to approve £62k from the Invest to Save reserve.



That approval is granted to use the £62K from the Invest to Save reserve to fund the following initiatives:


·        £12k in order to fund a service review of Financial Services.

·        £10k to fund the ‘internet of things’ initiative

·        £40k to fund an advertising and sponsorship initiative


Reasons for the decision:

The invest to save reserve is an established reserve that Council has approved that has been successful in providing funding for proposals that are identified during any financial year and provide the Council will a positive financial return.  The payback for such initiatives is typically 3 years but can vary depending on the individual proposal.  


Financial Services Service Review


The Council has embarked on a corporate wide service review programme as an integral part of its transformation programme.  These reviews are designed to assess and analyse a number of elements of the respective service specifically value for money, cost analysis, customer focus, performance, strategic fit and behaviours that support the Corporate Strategy.  The proposal in this review is to temporarily engage an external partner to support and facilitate the review and to provide some peer challenge.  An external partner has been identified who has a wealth of experience in this regard and has worked with many authorities in order to modernise financial services to meet their organisational needs.  This review will lead to a delivery improvement plan that will be implemented following the conclusion of the review.  The review will also include the reduction of operational service costs via a combination of income generation (providing services to third parties) and cost reductions.  These will be delivered due to the automation and streamlining of processes.  Therefore, the review will ensure that the invest to save outlay is recouped within a one year period. 


Internet of Things Initiative


The proposal is to work in partnership with an external partner to setup a pilot project for the Internet of Things (IoT). The initial area is to develop is intelligent street lighting across the district. The proposal is to combine a LED lamp with Internet of Things sensors. This will create saving on the power with LED and also allow proactive monitoring of use, condition and other factors such as footfall monitoring and air quality.  The proposal will also see the implementation of an IoT network which can then be utilised for future initiatives. However, at this stage it is not possible to quantify the savings that will be achieved but this will be identified as the work progresses.


Advertising and Sponsorship Initiative


South Kesteven District Council has worked with Publitas Consulting to complete an audit of advertising income received by the Council and the potential extent of opportunity within the local market. The audit report highlights an opportunity to make better use of Council assets to generate additional advertising revenue.


            The audit highlights a range of income opportunities that could be available to the Council, depending on how the market responds and the sites that are included in the tender documentation. The projected maximum payback period for the invest to save reserve is 15 months based on the minimal income projections.


            The proposal sees the Council utilise external expertise to support the procurement of specialist suppliers of advertising and sponsorship, implementation, management and sales. This will ensure revenue maximisation and the minimisation of risk to the Council. Procurement will be completed through an OJEU Tender, with competitive dialogue or negotiated procedure.


The timeline for the invest to save project is set out in the table below.



Target Period from Approval Date (months)

1.    Agreeing Advertising Locations

1 month

2.    Procurement Process / Tendering


6 – 8 months

4.    Contract Awarded

2 weeks

5.    Supplier submits planning permissions etc. If approved, supplier builds new advert sites

5 months

6.    Adverts start to run

2020 onwards

7.    Council starts to receive revenue

2020 onwards


Publitas Consulting will assist with the end-to-end throughout the entire procurement up to award of contracts, ensuring all activity has a focus on maximising the revenue values achieved. It should be highlighted that the choice of procurement process is important. Publitas will bring to the table extensive experience from assisting other councils using many procurement routes.


Publitas will advise during the procurement process from an advertising market perspective, helping the council bespoke the entire process and documentation so as to maximise the potential revenue values. They will help the Council to decide on a commercial basis to determine which of the possible new advertising inventory items and locations are advantageous to tender.


A full detailed GIS analysis will be undertaken of identified areas / locations for potential advertising, in order to produce a detailed location and traffic-flow brief, which will form part of the ITT for bidders. Publitas will assist the Council to bespoke a complete suite of tender documentation with wording which will manage supplier expectations throughout the process to maximise their revenue offers.


Alternative options considered:

At the meeting on 31 January 2019, Council approved that utilisation of the invest to save reserve be delegated to the Cabinet member for Finance (in consultation with the s151 officer) in order to fund projects and initiatives that will deliver ongoing sustainable savings following a short term injection of funding.

Publication date: 15/04/2019

Date of decision: 12/04/2019

Issue status: The decision is currently being reconsidered

Accompanying Documents: