Calderdale Council needs to save more than £13 million a year by 2019/20.
That’s according to the medium-term financial strategy, which will be discussed by Cabinet on Monday 12 September 2016 as the first stage of the Council’s budget setting process gets underway.
The strategy forms the basis for developing the Council’s budget proposals for 2017/18 – 2019/20, which will be consulted on next January.
The focus of the three-year plan is to achieve efficiency and innovation, prioritising spending to meet the Council’s ambition to be the best borough in the North.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“The Council is already working towards making savings of £93 million by 2017/18 compared to our budget in 2010. We now estimate that we’ll need to save another £13.3 million each year by 2019/20, meaning we face substantial challenges in the years ahead, which call for a radical approach to successfully balance the books.
“So far, we have done a good job in maintaining frontline services whilst coping with increasing levels of funding cuts. But as the central government reductions continue, this will continue to get harder and we will keep telling central government that they need to provide fair funding for the services local people rely on.
“However, we will rise to those challenges and we are still ambitious for Calderdale. Our prudent approach to budgeting and new ways of working mean that we still aim to deliver major projects to benefit the whole area, such as transport improvements, flood repairs and prevention, and housing schemes whilst protecting vital services.”
Reductions in government funding are expected to continue until at least 2019/20, so everything that the Council does will need to be prioritised and demonstrate value for money.
The Council’s priorities are to grow the economy by having thriving businesses and creating jobs and skills; reduce inequalities in society, health, attainment levels and money; and build a sustainable future for Calderdale by protecting the environment.
The Council will continue to take an innovative approach to delivering services, with a focus on prevention / early intervention (e.g. one aim of the Staying Well project to tackle loneliness is to reduce / delay people’s need for health and social care services), being more business-like and using more digital technology.
Budget process timeline:
July to September 2016: Medium-term financial strategy prepared
October to December 2016: Resources prioritised / savings options identified
January 2017: Draft budget proposals out for consultation
February 2017: Final budget agreed
The medium-term financial strategy will be discussed by Cabinet on Monday 12 September 2016 at Halfiax Town Hall. The meeting starts at 6pm. The strategy will then go to the full Council meeting on Thursday 29 September.