CAERPHILLY council has approved a major transformation strategy - including spending £425,000 on three new senior staff posts - as it bids to become more commercially minded to help fund services.

The council is seeking new ways of making money, having overseen cuts of more than £100 million since 2008/09 due to shrinking budgets.

A new strategy called #TeamCaerphilly - Better Together, setting out the council’s approach over the coming years, has been given the green light following a cabinet meeting.

The plan includes spending £425,000 to fund

three new senior members

of staff for an initial two years to drive the programme forward.

Critics have raised concern over the cost, but council bosses say it is part of an “invest to save” approach.

The strategy will be underpinned by the council having “a social heart and a commercial head”, say council leader Dave Poole and interim chief executive Christina Harrhy.

“The council is committed to protecting vulnerable people and providing services as equitably as possible across the whole of the county borough,” the strategy says.

“However, we must be more commercially minded in our approaches to service provision and look for opportunities to increase income that can be reinvested in services.”

Similar plans have been adopted in Newport and Monmouthshire, with both councils creating £50m investment funds.

Delivery of the strategy will be supported by regeneration projects, including the completion of a £261m improvement programme to the council’s housing stock, and the £110m second phase of the 21st Century Schools scheme.

The council says it will also look to become more business efficient, explore opportunities for greater collaboration, and place more emphasis on digital services.

“We provide over 800 key services to all sections of the community from the cradle to the grave, but the pressures facing us mean that we need to do things differently in order to adapt and thrive,” said Cllr Poole.

The programme will also be supported by a new digital strategy and a sports and active recreation strategy.

“We must be able to anticipate future opportunities and be ready to make the most of them for the benefits of our residents,” said Ms Harrhy.