Following public consultation, Nottingham City Council has agreed on a package of budget proposals to help establish a sustainable financial footing amid the Covid-19 crisis.
After an exceptionally difficult year, the council has approved £15.6 million of savings and limited use of reserves to deliver a one-year balanced budget, while it develops a medium-term financial plan.
For councils across the country the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the context of years of austerity have had far-reaching consequences and Nottingham is no different in recognising the need to meet new and emerging challenges over the years ahead.
At a meeting of the Full Council on Monday 8 March 2021, the budget debate included a call for the Government to urgently address a number of issues which will be significant for the council’s budget and financial stability over the coming years including:
- The need to bring forward the promised Green Paper on Adult Social Care with a funding model that does not rely on continued increases in Council Tax
- Changes in legislation relating to services for vulnerable children where provider pricing nationally is spiraling – Nottingham City Council is facing an estimated additional cost pressure of £12 million over the coming year
- Further support for businesses and employment services which will be crucial in helping Nottingham people as we enter the Covid recovery period
Measures to balance the forthcoming budget include some service changes, as well as a workforce reduction of 272 full-time equivalent posts – 123 of which have been held vacant.
The council will implement the Government’s proposed 3 percent social care precept towards the rising costs of care services for elderly and vulnerable adults, which now accounts for over 35 percent of the council’s net budget and will also apply a 1.99 percent increase to core Council Tax.
Following the public consultation on the proposed budget savings, a number of changes were debated and agreed, including scrapping the proposed 30p charge for public toilets in the city, not implementing the staffing reduction to the missing children’s team, and continuing the grants to arts and cultural venues with a much smaller 15 percent funding reduction rather than the 37 percent that had been considered.
Further details about the agreed budget for 2021/2022 can be found here.