Consultation

Have your say on the Proposed Financial Plan updated 2019-20 to 2020-21

Purpose of the consultation

We are updating our budget plan for 2019-20 and 2020-21, which includes:

  • Proposed changes to our budget for 2019-20
  • More detailed planning for 2020-21.
  • A revised outlook for 2021-22

We are consulting on these proposals. The information on these pages will help you learn more.

On this page you can find out some of the key figures around savings that need to be made, and how we have got to where we are.

You can read Bradford Council Leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe's, overview of the budget proposals here.

Background

Local government continues to face challenges amidst a backdrop of uncertainty. Austerity is not over and the Council continues to operate in a very difficult financial environment.

Since 2011, the Council has made £262 million of budget savings and cuts, and has invested £56 million into priority areas largely to help cover the impact of demographic growth (growing numbers in certain sections of the district’s population, such as people under 16 and older people).

Council tax has also been increased, without which the cuts would have been even higher.

The Government has said that it will make more cuts to council funding and stop paying councils general grants for local services by 2020. In future the money will have to be found locally through Council tax, business rates and charges.

Key features of these budget proposals

  • Proposed savings. The savings proposed in the plan amount to £13.5 million for 2019-20 with a further £19.9 million identified for 2020-21.
  • Funding gap (savings we will need to make on top of the proposals in this plan). There is a further projected ‘funding gap’ of £28.8 million for 2020-21. Subject to any further local governmental funding announcements from the Government, we will need work up plans over the next 12 months to cover this gap.
  • Council tax. These budget savings are after a proposed increase in Council Tax of 2.99% in 2019-20 (equivalent to £39.86 on a Band D property) with a further increase of 2.99% expected for 2020-21. Bradford still has one of the lowest Council tax rates in the country.
  • Use of reserves. The Council has had to propose the use of reserves during 2019?20 to prevent additional reductions on service levels, over and above those already proposed (in previous years during the four year budget process).
  • Funding for adults and children's social care. Continuing demand, plus increasing costs, is putting financial pressure on adults and children's social care. Following the recent Ofsted report on children's social care services, money has been invested back into this service. Additional investment in adult social care to cover a projected overspend in 2018-19 is also proposed. Some additional 'one off' funds have also been made available from government in their Autumn Budget – this has been included in the plan.
  • Capital investment. Revisions to our Capital Investment Plan (CIP) are included in the proposals. The proposals are designed to improve efficiency, make our asset management more cost-effective, reduce maintenance costs, and can help deliver economic growth. Proposed investment schemes include: street lights, continuation of the empty private sector homes strategy and a number of other proposals.
  • Dealing with funding gap in 2020-21. The proposed updated financial plan shows a balanced budget for 2019-20, after using reserves. The funding gap for 2020-21 is projected to be £28.8 million. Further budget proposals will be necessary to close the funding gap for 2020-21. The Council will need to work up detailed proposals over the next 12 months to deal with potential funding issues arising from government spending decisions (reforms to local government spending and the outcome of the Spending Review). The Council needs some certainty on the future of local government funding in order to make considered decisions on the allocation of future resources to the Council Plan priority outcomes.

The Council has already cut over £100 million from budgets since 2010 by improving efficiency, renegotiating contracts and cutting management and administration costs. This has helped to protect services; however, the scope for future savings is getting more limited, and is dwarfed by the scale of public spending cuts. We will continue to work to drive down costs but it is not possible to make further efficiency savings on the scale needed to balance the Council’s books.

The money can only be found by cutting spending or increasing the Council’s income or increasing Council tax.

In February 2019 the Council will meet to decide its budget and spending plans for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Councillors will face very difficult decisions.

At its meeting on 4 December 2018 the Council's Executive committee recommended its Proposed Financial Plan updated 2019-20 to 2020-21, including Council tax proposals, for consultation. You can read the Executive's Proposed Financial Plan updated 2019-20 to 2020-21

The budget proposals for 2019-20 and 2020-21 will be subject to widespread public consultation, including via this website.

Working together with individuals, families, communities and each other our public services, voluntary and community sector and businesses can achieve far more than any single organisation working alone so we must harness all the district's assets and resources in pursuit of our shared objectives.

Please tell us what you think about the Executive's proposals for spending and local taxes. Tell us what matters most to you, give us your ideas about what could change, how we could increase income and what part you and others could play in meeting the challenges our district faces.

Use the links below for more information about the context in which the proposals have been developed, the Council’s current budget, and how we are planning for the future.

·         Leader's overview of the Proposed Financial Plan updated 2019-20 to 2020-21

·         About the budget consultation and how to take part

·         Planning for the future

·         Budget EIAs 2019-20

 

Let us know your views

To tell us what you think on this subject, please follow this link to an online survey. This consultation runs until Sunday, 27th January, 2019.