Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader, Graham Chapman has branded today’s Budget “directionless” and a “non-event high in expectation and low in delivery, but with a few useful snippets.”

It said nothing about fixing the urgent problems like bed blocking in Adult Social Care and Child Protection where underfunding and increasing need and demand are pushing Council finances to the limit and beyond according to Councillor Chapman.

Also absent from the Chancellor’s Budget were any measures to tackle the growing problem of Homelessness which is placing huge pressures on council budgets across the country and has required an extra £1million in additional funding from Nottingham City Council so far this year.

There was also no recognition of the forthcoming real-terms cut to school budgets or any indication of additional funding to tackle the national backlog of repairs to roads and transport infrastructure, other than a small contribution to  ‘potholes’ .

In his speech, the Chancellor confirmed that average wage growth is set to fall over the next few years putting more cost of living pressures on local residents.

Amongst other announcements the Chancellor made today, the increase in Living Wage and the change to using CPI instead of RPI for Business Rates may have significant effects on the Council’s finances.

However, other measures including charging increased Council Tax for empty properties and more investment for new technologies were more welcome. As was a concession on direct payment of housing benefits to landlords under Universal Credit.

Councillor Chapman Says:

“Council finances are already at tipping point and we will have to make very difficult decisions in our own budget next year. Little the Chancellor has announced today will change that”.

“This Budget is an opportunity lost with no vision for cities or the Country and little to help us prepare for the future global economic challenges which Nottingham faces either in or out of Europe”.