Nottingham City Council has identified the £5.3m of extra savings proposals needed to balance its 2015/16 budget in the face of further Government cuts.
For its budget next year, the council must reduce its budget by £27.1m and last month outlined £21.8m of savings proposals. Now it has identified the £5.3m needed to plug the gap.
Government funding for the council has shrunk by £72m since 2010, leading to the council carrying out £123m of savings in its budgets over the past four years.
In what has proved to be its toughest budget yet, the council is proposing to carry out a range of further service reductions including staff reductions, as well as reducing some contributions to other organisations and realising savings from falling fuel prices and a smaller pension liability. This comes on top of earlier proposals including wide service reductions, a reduction in the council workforce of 240 and Council Tax to increase by 1.95%.
Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “Finding the last £5m to balance next year’s budget has been a case of squeezing the last drops of efficiencies from services. Next year, we will have no option but to make much more fundamental changes which will have more significant negative impacts on local people.
“Implementing these savings is bad enough, but when it’s in the knowledge that Nottingham has been dealt a much worse hand by the Government than places which need less financial support, it’s hard not to be angered by the unfairness of it.”
The Council believes cities like Nottingham are being treated unfairly by the Government. Nottingham has lost more in Revenue Spending Power per household than places in the affluent south. Other pressures, such as the rising demand for services to support vulnerable people and protect children, are greater in cities like Nottingham. This means that for another year, the continuing cuts in grant means the Government is contributing less money to fund council services and local people and businesses in general are contributing more.
People have the opportunity to give their views on the budget proposals and to continue to provide any suggestions on how to make further savings, through the Your City Your Services process, at:www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/yourcityyourservices and at consultation meetings.
The budget proposals will be discussed at the meeting of the Executive Board on February 24th and approved at the full council meeting on March 9th.