The council is required to set a budget on an annual basis, taking into account the amount of funding it can raise, the services it must provide, and financial pressures including inflation.
The council is one of the largest employers in the area, with over 10,000 employees, who provide over 600 services to over 143,000 households and businesses in towns, villages and hamlets covering some 930 square miles. These include social care for the elderly and vulnerable, the construction and maintenance of roads, parks and other infrastructure, planning and building control services, waste collection, environmental health services, the provision of schools, libraries and museums, as well as many other local services.
Like all large public sector organisations, we manage our resources very carefully and aim to do more with less money. Since 2010, the government has reduced our funding significantly and we have had to make tough decisions in order to meet this challenge.
We have already achieved over £158million of savings up to 2017/18 and require around a further £40million pounds over the next four years up to 2021/22.
We have had to use our reserves, mainly to support adults and children’s social care, but we anticipate these reserves will run out by 2020/21. It is important to note that this is one-off funding and once depleted, these reserves cannot be used again.
We face many unavoidable financial pressures, for example an ageing population and increasing costs of care, the impact of government welfare reforms and the National Living Wage, plus increasing energy costs, all across a large rural area.
To achieve our savings target and meet these huge challenges, we need a good Business Plan in place so that we can focus on what’s important and prioritise what needs to be done, and tell you how we will do it and explain how we will use the money wisely to achieve it.
The draft proposals are set out in the document below:
Draft budget 2018-2019 (pdf 512kb opens in new window)