Nottingham City Council has formally approved its 2022/23 budget making savings to bridge a starting budget gap of £28million and a four-year plan to put the organization on a stable financial trajectory for the future .
Today’s Plenary Council meeting (Monday 7 March) agreed on a range of proposals for the next financial year beginning in April, including:
– the closure of certain centers for children
– the introduction of a management fee for the parking cards of the second and third residents and the collection of bulky items
– a reduction in the staff of gaming and youth services.
Feedback from extensive public consultation led councilors to make changes, which were ratified at today’s meeting. These amendments mean that:
• the main downtown public restrooms on Greyhound Street will remain free
• an additional children’s center will remain open
• More youth and game service staff will be retained.
A number of Council service areas will see more investment, including:
• estimated additional funding of £46m, over four years, in care services for Nottingham’s elderly residents and most vulnerable children
• £230m investment in social housing to improve existing properties, build hundreds of new social homes and make hard-to-heat homes more sustainable and energy efficient.
Councilors protected spending for many key services, such as street cleaning, community protection, parks and open spaces, and support for the homeless.
The agreed budget will involve a reduction in staff of the equivalent of 63 full-time positions – of which 27 are currently vacant. It will also see a 1.99% rise in basic council tax, plus an additional 1% for the government’s welfare precept in the face of growing demand for adult care services.
Like most local authorities across the country, the Council receives far less in its main government grant than it did ten years ago. This has been accompanied by an increase in demand for legal adult care services which, together with care for vulnerable children, now account for two-thirds of the council’s total budget.
This compresses the funding available for other municipal services. The savings in next year’s budget come on top of more than £300million in savings since 2010.
Councilors also approved a balanced four-year medium-term financial plan to 2025/26, which is key to delivering the city’s Together for Nottingham improvement scheme adopted by full Council in January.
Nottingham City Council’s five-year, £230 million investment program in housing stock was agreed at the meeting.
Nottingham City Council, together with its independent housing management company, Nottingham City Homes (NCH), has already built over 650 homes, with over 300 new council properties planned or in preparation in Nottingham over the next two years. , including in Bestwood and Clifton where 144 new homes are already under construction.
The Council’s capital scheme, which aims to help improve the authority’s current housing stock of 25,218 homes, includes new kitchens and bathrooms, energy efficient windows, solar panels and exterior wall insulation .
Finance and Resources portfolio holder, Councilor Sam Webster, said: ‘We have had to make over £300million in budgetary savings since 2010, but it was the most difficult year yet that required incredibly difficult decisions about services that we know are valued by local people. .
“We have made some changes to the proposals after listening to feedback during the public consultation and have done everything we can to mitigate the impact on service users.
“Unfortunately, like many councils across the country, we have faced extremely difficult circumstances due to a decade of unprecedented government funding cuts and growing demand for some key council services, particularly care for the elderly.
“The amount of government funding for public services in Nottingham is a fraction of what it was ten years ago, so unfortunately, like the vast majority of councils, we have no alternative but to increase council tax again.
“The unfairness of government policy on Nottingham is what is most shocking. While they pulled £320 of funding per accommodation in Nottingham, the average across the country was £47. If the government is serious about it” leveling up,” he cannot continue to underinvest in local utilities and hammer households with endless council tax increases.