The Council has launched consultation on its new budget, which reveals a continuing need for major savings – but also significant investment in some areas.
As a result of continuing cuts in government funding, the Council must make savings of £15m in 2017/18 to balance the books, and a total of £28m over the next three years. This is on top of the £135m already saved since 2010.
The Council is planning to increase council tax bills by 4 per cent next year. Half of this rise is specifically to address the ever-growing costs of social care. An extra £2.6m is needed just to meet the extra demands of adult social care in 2017/18 – and £13.8m over the next three years.
For many services which the Council does not legally have to provide, the situation remains critical. Many will cease unless they are provided externally and at no cost to the Council. The authority’s £100m staff costs will also shrink by 3%, meaning that some jobs will be at risk as efficiencies are made.
Most of the financial pressure is due to an £18m reduction in the Council’s government grant over the next three years. There are also rising costs over which the Council has no control, including inflation, insurance, pension contributions and the national levy set to fund apprenticeships.
This draft budget is a continuation of the three-year plan set out in 2016. It reconfirms the level of savings already approved by the Council, but also sets out some changes as the budget cycle moves forward. These include:
- The development of a new 50 metre swimming pool. With a feasibility study underway, the Council has identified up to £20million to make it a reality. This will be funded through borrowing.
- Prioritising services for our streets, parks and other green spaces to keep them looking clean and attractive. The Council will also invest in tackling fly tipping.
The pool investment is part of plans to spend £100m on one-off so-called capital projects, including repairs to schools and council houses, refurbishing parks and libraries, roads, vehicles and flood defences.
This money is funded differently, such as from grants, sales of assets, borrowing and income from council housing.
Overall, the budget represents the Council’s best efforts to pursue its vision for Derby to be a safe, strong and ambitious city, at a time of unprecedented budget cuts.
Consultation on the budget is now open. The Council is keen to hear the views of as many people as possible. To give yours, visit www.derby.gov.uk/yourcityyoursay.
Published: Monday 12th December 2016