Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will discuss the local authority’s financial strategy at its meeting on 3 September 2018.
Every autumn the Council updates its Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) to inform decisions about how the local authority will manage its budget over the next three years.
Our strategy is being developed in the context of unprecedented budget pressures for local government, national uncertainty in terms of future funding, and unprecedented demand for Council services, especially adult and children’s social care.
These huge pressures are becoming increasingly unsustainable coming on top of the savings of £105 million by 2019/20 compared to its 2010 budget that the Council has had to make.
The strategy highlights that the Council will need to make further savings so that it can achieve a balanced budget in each of the next three years, which will have a direct impact upon services valued by our residents.
Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift said:
“I’m proud of the way that the Council has responded to the challenges of sustained austerity and we have carefully and responsibly managed to achieve a balanced budget over the last eight years.
“However, the continued reduction in funding, coupled with the uncertainty around future Government grants, and other factors such as Britain’s exit from the EU, means that realistic financial planning is becoming harder each year.
“And at the same time, we are seeing continuing growth in demand for our services from some of the most vulnerable adults and children in our communities. We have clear legal and moral responsibilities and duties to meet these needs, and this is where we have seen some Councils begin to reach a breaking point.
“We will continue to put in place plans to make the savings which we have estimated are necessary to allow us to achieve a balanced budget each year, but we must clearly acknowledge that this includes a degree of risk due to the level of uncertainty on future funding.”
The Council’s current financial forecast shows that the authority must make savings of £1.7 million in 2019/20, £7.9 million in 2020/21 and £8.9 million from 2021/22 onwards.
Whilst the Council is required to make significant savings it is also exploring ways in which it can increase its income through investment. The Cabinet will be asked to recommend to Council that up to £15 million is included within the capital programme. This will allow the Council to proceed with its investment strategy to acquire commercial properties which will generate additional income to help support its budget and services to the public.
If the MTFS report is approved by the Cabinet, it will be used as a basis to create draft budget proposals which will be published for public consultation in January 2019. The final budget proposals will be presented to Budget Council in February 2019.
The Cabinet will discuss the Medium Term Financial Strategy report at the next meeting, which will be at 6pm on 3 September 2018 at Halifax Town Hall