Council to consult on budget proposals as pressures continue to grow

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Latest news in Yorkshire: October 17, 2018 02:13:40 PM

Published on Wednesday, 17th October 2018 in Council news news

Rotherham Council intends to set a two-year budget for the first time in
order to help deal with a further £30 million of required savings.

The plans are intended to take the Council through to new national
funding arrangements by setting a budget up until the 2020/21 financial
year. The Government has announced the way councils are funded will
change in 2020, but has not yet detailed what these changes will be.

Rotherham Council has had to make savings of £177 million since 2010,
meaning there are now 1,800 fewer jobs in the organisation. The next two
years will see the funding gap grow to more than £200 million over the
decade.

Leaders will outline the scope of the challenge at two special budget
scrutiny meetings on October 24 and 26. A public consultation on the
specific proposals will begin from October 26 and run until November 30,
2018.

Council Leader Cllr Chris Read said: “Each year the Government grant
funding we have to spend on services gets less and less, while the
demand for services to the most vulnerable families and residents
continues to rise. Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting
out how we bridge that gap, whilst continuing to seek certainty from the
Government about how they intend to see local services funded in the
future.

“Over the last few years we have done everything we can to prioritise
the services people have told us they value, while at the same time
making sure we meet our legal obligations and protecting children and
vulnerable adults, and we will continue to do this.

“These are inevitably difficult conversations to have, with challenging
decisions depending on them. But Rotherham has been particularly
dependent on Government grants that will soon cease to exist. The total
amount of council tax raised by every single household in the borough
would not even cover the cost to the Council of providing social care –
let alone emptying bins, cleaning the streets, maintaining libraries and
parks, and the other things that residents associate with the Council.
So we have to make fundamental changes to the way that the Council
works.

“Trying to pick our way through how we do this is the real challenge and
not one any of us takes lightly. That is why we are taking the step of
looking at a two-year plan this year, giving as much certainty as we can
about what lies ahead.”

The Council’s latest forecast for the next two years, 2019/20 and
2020/21, is that it will need to find a further £30 million of savings,
across the two years. The Council’s current annual net budget is around
£217 million per year.

More detail about the specific proposals to balance the budget will be
presented at the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB)
on the 24 and 26 October. You can find out further information on the
process and proposals, and will be able to have your say when the public
consultation opens on October 26, at

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