26 November 2015

Council announces four year budget proposals to meet £68 million savings

The council’s four year budget proposals (2016-2020) are set out in a report coming to the Policy & Resources committee on 3 December 2015.

Budget proposals announced today provide details of how Brighton & Hove City Council plans to save £68m over the next four years. The proposed measures include service redesign, stripping out middle management, improving efficiency and a recommended rise in council tax of 1.99%. The proposals would result in the loss of the equivalent of an estimated 540 full-time posts.

The four-year budget proposals outline how the council plans to address the significant funding gap caused by reduced government funding alongside rising demand for services and inflation. The savings come on top of £77m savings already achieved since 2011. The additional savings mean that between 2011 and 2020 the council will have to have delivered savings of £145 million.

Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the council said: "These are the challenging times for local government as we face the combination of relentless central government cuts, increasing costs and rising demand for our services, particularly those serving vulnerable people.

“We plan to involve residents more directly and build new relationships with community groups to give them more influence over local services. We are looking at doing things differently, increasingly working with partners, communities and businesses to find new ways to share delivery of public services.

Councillor Les Hamilton, lead member with responsibility for finance and resources, said: "By proposing a four-year budget plan, we are looking to put services in the strongest position to be able to deliver in the long term. We are changing how we do our business, coordinating our health and social care budgets with our partners and looking to our residents and communities to work with us. There’s no doubt that we will have to stop non-statutory services if funding cannot be found.”

The proposals are published online in the Policy & Resources papers on the council website.

Residents are invited to have their say on the proposals in an online consultation from 4 December to the 17 January. More information is available online at brighton-hove.gov.uk/bhbudget

Proposals for 2016/17 include:
(some proposals are subject to consultation)

Learning Disabilities review of provision saving £2 million

Learning Disabilities review of day services saving £580,000

Closure of Tower House day service saving £230,000

Special Educational Needs review saving £500,000

Youth Services review saving £400,000

Introducing commercial activities at Cityclean (textile recycling, MOTs, trade waste collection) saving £135,000

Efficiencies in Cityclean management and staff costs saving £450,000

Closing public conveniences saving £170,000

Reducing Park Ranger services saving £175,000

Moving the Royal Pavilion into trust status with the Brighton Dome saving £205,000

Modernising the libraries services saving £309,000

Council Tax Reduction scheme reduced saving £540,000

Rationalising council buildings saving £330,000

Restructuring loans (Minimum Revenue Provision) £500,000

Seeking agreement that a number of Brighton & Hove City Council support functions join the Orbis partnership, subject to a period of due diligence including ICT, Finance, Procurement, Internal Audit, Human Resources and Organisational Development, Property and the Revenue and Benefits services. Legal Services are also seeking agreement to join an Orbis Public Law partnership