Calderdale Council may need to save £11 million in the next financial year according to a forecast which will be considered at the next meeting of the Cabinet in November.
The Medium Term Financial Plan is updated annually and represents the starting point for setting the Council’s budget for 2024-2025, which will be agreed at Budget Council on 26 February 2024.
The plan forecasts the resources that might be available to deliver the Council’s priorities over the next three financial years.
The Council is currently forecasting that savings of £11 million, £15 million and £14.5 million will be required in the financial years to 2026/27, having already made savings of £120 million by 2023/24 compared to its 2010 budget.
In the current financial year, the Council is projecting a £6.6 million overspend but is working hard to reduce this, together with limited use of some funds from reserves, to achieve a balanced budget by year end.
As in previous years, there is a level of uncertainty about the financial forecast because of the continuing impact of inflation, the rising cost of living, increasing demand for public services and the lack of longer-term Government funding allocations.
The combination of these factors mean that substantial funding gaps already exist for most local authorities, which are facing significant challenges to their financial resilience.
This uncertainty makes it even more important that the Council starts its budget process to create a sustainable financial position over the next three years. The Council is legally required to set a balanced budget each year.
The Council’s financial position may change over the next few months and the budget proposals will be adapted accordingly.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of Calderdale Council said:
“The Medium Term Financial Plan provides us with an indication of the financial position of the Council in the coming years but there is still much that can change.
“It’s based on what we know today, however there are many things, including the amount of money which we receive from the Government, which will influence our budget proposals.
“Our priority is to make sure that the budget over the next three years is sustainable so that we can be confident that we can continue to deliver vital public services to all our communities.”
The next major milestones are the Chancellor’s budget on 22 November 2023 and the Local Government Finance Settlement in December 2023 which translates Government funding levels into specific grants for each local authority.
The proposed Medium Term Financial Plan will be discussed at Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 13 November 2023 at Halifax Town Hall from 3pm, and will also be live streamed online at https://calderdale.public-i.tv/core/portal/home(external link)