Today Nottingham Labour will agree a package of budget proposals to establish a sustainable financial footing amid the Covid crisis.
This budget comes during an extremely difficult time for the people of Nottingham, the nation as a whole and the council. The impacts of Covid have been devastating. The health effects coupled with the economic situation has dealt a blow to many of our residents. During this most difficult time for our City the council has stepped up to support our most vulnerable residents and taken on new responsibilities ranging from getting every rough sleeper into safe accommodation to administering tens of millions of pounds worth of business grants to help small employers through the pandemic.
Nottingham City Council has had to make over £271m of budget savings between 2010/11 and 2019/20, and during the current pandemic has had to deal with £25.9m unreimbursed Covid response costs and loss of income. We are having to take difficult decisions in this budget which includes £15.6m of savings.
Proposals include some service changes, as well as a workforce reduction of 272 full-time equivalent posts – 109 of which have been held vacant. We will also be implementing the Government’s proposed 3% social care precept towards the rising costs of care services for elderly and vulnerable adults, which now accounts for over 35% of the council’s net budget.
Over the last couple of months we have been listening to the feedback on draft budget proposals and will be making a few changes as a result. We will be:
- Scrapping the staffing reduction to the Missing Children’s Team.
- Scrapping the proposed 30p charge for public toilets in the City.
- Continuing the grants to arts and cultural venues with a much smaller 15% funding reduction rather than the 37% that had been considered.
There are many proposals in today’s budget that we are bringing reluctantly. To avoid similar decisions in the future we need the Government to change course. We will be using Full Council today to call on 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
- Services for vulnerable children where provider pricing nationally is spiralling – Nottingham City Council is facing an estimated additional cost pressure of more than £12m over the coming year
- Further support for businesses and employment services which will be
You can watch Full Council here.