Balancing the books in uncertain times

Cllr Swift

Calderdale Council has published a five year financial strategy to help manage its budget during what is predicted to be a sustained period of national uncertainty. 

Every autumn the Council updates its Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) which is then used to inform budget decisions.   

Previously the strategy has covered a three year period, however this year this has been extended to five years, so that the Council is able to allocate resources to deliver Calderdale’s Vision2024. 

Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift said: 

“There are a number of different factors which mean that over the next few years we are facing one of the worst periods of financial uncertainty since the end of the war. 

“Local government is continuing to face unprecedented budget pressures and there is no clear indication from the Government on future funding, yet demand for Council services, especially adult and children’s social care is continuing to grow.   

“It’s also unclear what impact leaving the European Union will have both at a national and a local level.  

“We have a responsibility to make sure that the Council can continue delivering our services, many of which are supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, whilst at the same time pursuing our ambition to be the best borough in the North.” 

The latest forecasts suggest that the Council will have to make a further £4 million savings in 2020/21, having already made savings of £114 million compared to its 2010 budget.  It is expected that further savings will be required in the subsequent years to 2024/25. 

The forecasts are based on a number of assumptions both at a local and national level which are outlined in the report.  

These will be updated following the Government’s Spending Review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s next Budget, the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement (expected in December 2019) and the outcome of Britain’s exit from the EU.

 The Cabinet will be asked to approve the Medium Term Financial Strategy for recommendation to the Council at a meeting at Halifax Town Hall on Monday 2 September 2019 from 6pm. 

The Council’s detailed budget for 2020/21 will be decided at Full Council in February next year.  

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