Budget consultation 2017+
Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in the survey about our budget proposals for 2017 to 2018. The consultation closed on 18 January 2017.
We’re listening. This consultation report forms part of the council cabinet’s budget proposal discussions in February, ahead of final proposals going before full council on 28 February. The final Council Plan and Budget 2017+ will be published in March 2017 on our main budget webpage.
Although this consultation on the overall budget proposals has ended, further consultation will be held with service users and members of the general public, as appropriate, around any proposals taken forward.
Our vision for the future of Birmingham is for a city of growth, in which every child, citizen and place matters – a great city to grow up and grow old in, where people are healthier, communities grow stronger, and decent housing provides a strong foundation in which to raise families and build careers.
We want to play a big role in turning this vision into reality, but we need to make big savings – because of the unprecedented financial challenges we face.
The story so far
The financial challenge
The money the council uses to fund services comes from a variety of sources. How two-thirds of it is spent – on services like housing and schools – is out of our control, and much of the budget that we do control goes to help tackle important issues like the rising numbers of older people who need care and the care of Birmingham’s children.
Since 2010 we have been forced to remove about £590 million from our budget as a direct result of unprecedented cuts in the amount of grant the Government has awarded Birmingham City Council. This equates to a 34 per cent reduction in grant since 2010.
We have been hit harder by grant cuts than many other cities because of the very high levels of social deprivation in Birmingham as well as depressed domestic property values which reduce the amount of income we can generate from Council Tax.
During the period 2010 to 2016, we’ve been forced, as a result of the financial pressures facing us, to reduce the number of staff working for the council by about 40 per cent.
We have attempted to protect frontline services by making better use of our assets. We’ve also embarked on a programme of long term change towards a new, leaner model of local government for Birmingham.
Looking forward, we anticipate having to cut spending by a further £180 million by 2021 if the Government continues to drastically reduce public spending.
A continuing journey
Our response to the financial and other challenges is to set out a clear direction for Birmingham City Council, so we can put our resources into a focused set of priorities:
Children: a safe and secure city in which to learn and grow.
Housing: to meet the needs of all current and future citizens.
Jobs and skills: for an enterprising, innovative and green city.
Health: helping people become more physically active and well.
We’re going to have to work differently – with more partnerships, more collaboration and, in some places, we’re going to stop delivering services directly.
And we’re continuing our programme of long-term change, retaining the right people with the right skills in the right roles and streamlining management structures.