Councils across the country are facing an extremely challenging financial environment and Rotherham is no different. Central Government funding has dwindled since 2010, which has impacted services locally. We have had to make cuts and savings of over £200m to our Annual Budget since 2010. We recognise that it has been tough for residents and families across the borough who continue to feel the effects of the cost of living crisis, with inflation levels still high.
Difficult and responsible decisions will continue to be made, at a time when Councils across the country are laying off staff and making deep cuts to services. However, because of the prudent approach we have taken to our financial management locally, we are in a much better position than many other places.
This will be the fifth successive year that the Council has proposed a Council Tax increase below the government’s referendum cap threshold saving the typical household £133.30 over that time. A Council Tax Support Scheme will be in place to provide further support to low-income households in the Borough.
Despite the challenges, we are stepping up our efforts to support families, with more money for Children’s Centres and youth work, as well as improving free activities that are open to everyone.
We have listened to the concerns of residents about our roads and pavements, so we are delivering a major four-year programme of further investment. The Council will continue to invest in additional street cleaning and local schemes to improve the appearances of our neighbourhoods. We will be halving the price of household bulky waste collections and will continue to crack down on people who blight our communities with litter and flytipping.
By continuing to make prudent choices we can continue to support residents with social care needs, whilst also investing in the future of our borough. We will continue to urge the Government to put in place a sustainable funding programme for councils everywhere, recognising the different needs and circumstances of different parts of the country, so that residents can have confidence that services can be maintained for the long term.
Councillor Chris Read
Leader of Rotherham Borough Council