Consultation on our budget proposals for 2024/5 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2025-2028
Have your say on our budget proposals for 2024/25, as well as on how we meet the financial challenges we face over the next four years.
Like all councils, we are facing unavoidable financial pressures driven by rising costs and increasing levels of demand, particularly for adult and children's social care. In total 47 per cent of our budget is spent on social care, providing support to 2.5 per cent of the population. It is becoming more challenging to balance budgets with the funding received from the Government and the income we are allowed to raise locally.
Despite some additional government funding and assuming that there will be continued annual increases in council tax, we forecast that we will still need to make £56 million in savings over the next four years, with savings of £12.1 million required next year.
Although we will continue to maximise savings and efficiencies in management and administration services, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do this. We have always sought to minimise the impact on front line services, however, without further funding from Government, some of these services will be more affected in the coming years.
We have already agreed £2.2 million of savings for next year, and we are now consulting on proposals to save a further £3.7 million. That would still leave us with a £6.2 million shortfall for 2024/25, so we are also seeking your views on where we could make these savings, as well as the savings we'll need to make in future years.
To help our most vulnerable households, we are also proposing to extend our Council Tax Reduction Scheme in its existing form for another year. This scheme offers a council tax discount to eligible residents on low incomes whether in work, unemployed or retired.
Please have your say on our spending plans, the current savings proposals and on which areas you feel we should prioritise for further, future savings.
We would like to hear your views on:
- Our proposals for saving £3.7 million and how these may impact on you
- Our proposal to increase council tax for 2024/25 by 4.99% (with 2% of that to help meet rising adult social care costs)
- What other services areas we should prioritise for savings to meet the shortfall of £6.2 million for next year, and also to achieve the remaining £43.5 million required in savings over the next four years.
Below, you can read more about the detail of the challenges we face, what is impacting on our budget forecasts, the savings we propose from back office, efficiencies, increasing fees, and the changes to how we deliver front line services.
We also describe our reasoning for increasing the council tax for next year and list those service areas which may need to be targeted for savings either next year or over the next four years.
Proposed approach to balancing the budget in 2024/25
Wherever possible the focus on developing savings options has been to seek efficiencies, raise additional income and protect front line service provision. The proposals we've already identified for 2024/25 have four elements.
Priorities for further savings for 2024/25 and the following three years
Although we have identified several savings proposals for next year, there remains a funding shortfall of £6.2 million for 2024/25, and a £43.5 million shortfall over the following three years. With this in mind, we need your views on how we might make further savings.
Have your say
The closing date for online comments was 5.00pm on Friday 20 October 2023.
Your feedback in this consultation will help us shape and finalise our budget proposals for 2024/25 as well as help us look ahead longer term to make future savings. This will be reported to our cabinet and full council in February 2024.
We anticipate further consultation on how to shape future savings proposals will be carried out next year.
- 03000 263 593