We have been notified by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that Commissioners will not be appointed to run Nottingham City Council. It has been agreed that we will continue with the current arrangement with oversight by the Improvement and Assurance Board (IAB).
We are satisfied that the Government recognises the improvements that the council has made under the leadership of Nottingham Labour – reflected in the decision to not appoint commissioners. Over the last 22 months, we have worked well with the Government-appointed IAB. Under new leadership, Nottingham Labour has made progress, been open about the issues the council has faced, and worked hard to put things right. We have worked with the IAB to address their concerns and they have shared our progress with Government.
This work has resulted in the reduction in council debt, a transformation plan that will save the council £60million by the end of the four-year budget period and also achieve better outcomes for Nottingham people. We will set a four-year balanced budget in March after a year in which most councils have faced huge budget gaps due to the inflation pressures that Nottingham residents will recognise in their own lives.
We have changed the culture and governance of the council so that issues like the Housing Revenue Account are uncovered, shared transparently and sorted. Under the current leadership, the council has made significant changes to the way it works, is open about the issues the council faces and is determined to get things right – this has been recognised by the IAB.
Government cuts to our budgets mean that it is more difficult to do everything we want to do to help our communities, but we have been fighting for Nottingham and protecting our services against the worst effects of Tory cuts. We made sure that the council – and our amazing staff – were there for you during the Covid crisis and we fought hard to get what we needed for our city to help keep people safe.
After more than a decade of Tory austerity, the pandemic and then the recent worsening of the cost of living crisis, the work we have done to balance our budget has not been easy. Nottingham Labour has:
- retained 75 community protection officers
- continued to build council houses and improved private rented housing through our licensing scheme
- kept ownership of our outstanding care homes
- continued to run six leisure centres
- supported Welfare Rights advice services across the city because we defend what is needed by Nottingham people.
We are supporting free events for families all year round, and you can still expect a regular bus service from our award-winning city-owned bus company. We have our own bus company because Labour protected it when many others were sold off to private operators and they are now seeing more cancelled services and far higher fares. We invested in a tram that brings good jobs to the city and gets people to them. Our great public transport system has contributed to cleaner air than other cities in the UK and made people less reliant on a car.
The transformation of the Broad Marsh is underway, a new central library will soon be fitted out, a park will be created and new developments creating jobs and homes will be coming in the next few years.
We would like to thank the council staff for their part in helping us to improve the way the council works, and to Nottingham people for their continued support. We will continue to work alongside the IAB to reshape the way we deliver the best outcomes for our city. We will also keep working for a better deal for our city.