Council to consult on budget proposals as pressures continue to growPublished Wednesday, 17th October 2018
Rotherham Council intends to set a two-year budget for the first time in order to help deal with a further £30 million of required savings.
The plans are intended to take the Council through to new national funding arrangements by setting a budget up until the 2020/21 financial year. The Government has announced the way councils are funded will change in 2020, but has not yet detailed what these changes will be.
Rotherham Council has had to make savings of £177 million since 2010, meaning there are now 1,800 fewer jobs in the organisation. The next two years will see the funding gap grow to more than £200 million over the decade.
Leaders will outline the scope of the challenge at two special budget scrutiny meetings on October 24 and 26. A public consultation on the specific proposals will begin from October 26 and run until November 30, 2018.
Council Leader Cllr Chris Read said: “Each year the Government grant funding we have to spend on services gets less and less, while the demand for services to the most vulnerable families and residents continues to rise. Over the coming weeks and months we will be setting out how we bridge that gap, whilst continuing to seek certainty from the Government about how they intend to see local services funded in the future.
“Over the last few years we have done everything we can to prioritise the services people have told us they value, while at the same time making sure we meet our legal obligations and protecting children and vulnerable adults, and we will continue to do this.
“These are inevitably difficult conversations to have, with challenging decisions depending on them. But Rotherham has been particularly dependent on Government grants that will soon cease to exist. The total amount of council tax raised by every single household in the borough would not even cover the cost to the Council of providing social care – let alone emptying bins, cleaning the streets, maintaining libraries and parks, and the other things that residents associate with the Council. So we have to make fundamental changes to the way that the Council works.
“Trying to pick our way through how we do this is the real challenge and not one any of us takes lightly. That is why we are taking the step of looking at a two-year plan this year, giving as much certainty as we can about what lies ahead.”
The Council's latest forecast for the next two years, 2019/20 and 2020/21, is that it will need to find a further £30 million of savings, across the two years. The Council's current annual net budget is around £217 million per year.
More detail about the specific proposals to balance the budget will be presented at the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) on the 24 and 26 October. You can find out further information on the process and proposals, and will be able to have your say when the public consultation opens on October 26, at