Over the last 8 years, the Council has made savings of over £43m. The Council’s current budget requirement for 2019/20 will be around £124m, however the funding we expect to get amounts to around £113m. After making savings of around 30% over the past decade, it is now almost impossible to find savings which will not impact on individuals and communities.
The Council’s budget seeks to protect essential services while improving the Council’s financial sustainability, with a clear focus on stopping discretionary services and reducing performance standards towards the statutory minimum. We need to save in excess of 20% of current expenditure to ensure that the Council is in a financially sustainable position.
The Council is clear that to ensure future financial and service delivery sustainability very difficult decisions need to be made and transformational change is required. This will ensure the Council continues to meet its legal requirement to set a balanced budget and is able to deliver those services which it is legally required to in the medium to longer term.
That transformation is underway with a new streamlined senior management structure in place and a new Corporate Plan agreed.
To inform the process of budget setting by councillors, Council officers have put forward a range of options which span many aspects of current service provision.
Some of these options would result in a significant reduction from existing levels of service or removal of the service. There are also options to change the way in which some services are delivered in order to reduce costs, some of which involve working in collaboration with a range of partners.
The options are set out in this booklet alongside an indication of the level of savings which would be achieved if councillors accepted them. Officers are continuing to work to identify any further options for the coming years, as well as considering other ways of generating additional income to bridge the gap.
Your views are sought on the impacts any of the savings options put forward by officers would have on you or your community.
No decisions have been made and none will be taken by councillors until after the engagement exercise is complete.