Public consultation on the 2016-17 budget and Council Tax proposals has now closed
Since 2011-12 the Council has had to find £172.6 million of savings and extra income to balance the books and maintain local services.
We’ve worked hard to make services much more efficient, to get better value from our contracts and to reduce back office, administrative and management costs – saving £112 million to date in these ways.
- Reducing management posts by about a quarter including cutting over £1.1 million a year from senior management costs and more than £20 million overall in management and administration
- Cutting the costs of Council buildings is saving over £5.2 million a year and has helped to avoid over £59 million in maintenance costs
- Spending on external consultants has fallen by more than £6 million or 67%
- Savings of over £21 million in support services like finance, legal services, communications and policy support. Cross cutting savings and reductions in non service spending have contributed a further £34.6 million
- Sharing resources and expertise with other authorities for example in legal services, environmental health, building services and trading standards
- Reductions in spending on Councillors and Council committees
- The Council is working closely with partners particularly in health services to pool resources and lower costs
Our approach has helped us to protect the frontline services people rely on and we will continue to relentlessly pursue efficiency gains. However, the opportunities to make more big savings in this way are reducing. We’ll keep working hard to cut costs but all organisations have some running costs and there are far fewer savings that can now be made in those areas.
We’ve already had to make some difficult choices, such as:
- Increasing Council tax – without this more reductions to spending on services would have had to be made
- Increased charges and eligibility for some social care services
- Changing the rules about paying for transport to school or college for people with disabilities
- Reduced spending on cleansing and highways maintenance
- Making changes to Children’s Centres so they can all stay open
- Passed the Government’s £5 million cut in funding for Council tax benefit to people in receipt of it so that almost everyone of working age now has to contribute to Council tax
- Closed the mobile library service
- Reduced the numbers of Council jobs by the equivalent of over 1,500 full time posts
More big spending cuts make it inevitable that more and more services will be affected and very difficult decisions are going to continue to have to be made.
So far the Council has tried not to make cuts to the ‘frontline’ services that people need. But the Council cannot afford all the services it currently pays for so some will have to reduce and some will have to stop and some will have to be done differently.