5 February 2016

Final budget proposals to meet £68million funding gap

Brighton & Hove City Council’s final proposals for its budget for 2016/17 outline how the council intends to make savings of around £20million in 2016/17 and substantially reduce the funding gap of £68million by 2020.

The proposal is for an increase of 3.99% in the Brighton & Hove element of the council tax which includes an additional 2% precept to fund the increasing demands and cost of adult social care. The plans are being set out at Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday 11 February.

For the first time ever, budget proposals have been developed for four years to allow services to plan better for the future. Funding has been allocated around three core areas:

  • protecting key services for older people, children and vulnerable residents,
  • reviewing the services that we provide for everyone in the city
  • and generating income in services, such as the new commercial trade waste service, to allow them to become more self-funding. However this means that tough choices are being proposed in many areas.

Since 2012/13 the council has delivered around £75m of savings, including £21m savings in the current financial year, 2015/16.

But ongoing reductions in Government funding, combined with extra financial pressures means the council must find further innovative ways of doing business, while providing more than 700 different services to the city’s growing population.

Cllr Warren Morgan, leader of the council and chair of Policy and Resources Committee said: “There is no easy solution to the relentless cuts in funding and increasing costs of rising demand for many services. However this budget takes a longer term view across our services, making sure that we protect the funding that supports those who need it most while looking for new and innovative ways to raise funds ourselves and provide good services at lower cost.

“We have listened and amended proposals as a result of feedback from residents, and will continue to work with communities to give them more influence over local services and how their council tax is spent. We have worked hard to protect the services that local people value.”

Proposals for 2016/17 include: 

Support Functions £2million

Management cost reductions £1.9million as part of service redesigns

Learning Disabilities review of high cost provision saving £2million

Learning Disabilities review of high cost day services saving £580,000

Closure of Tower House day service saving £230,000

Special Educational Needs review and redesign 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 staffing costs saving £450,000

Redesign of the Park Ranger services saving £102,000 (reduced by £73,000 since first draft)

Improving income and efficiency across the Royal Pavilion and Museums saving £205,000 while we work toward trust status with the Brighton Dome  

Modernising the and extending opening hours of Libraries Extra service saving £309,000 and extending opening hours

Savings from the approved changes to the Council Tax Reduction scheme of £540,000

Rationalising council buildings saving £330,000

Link to the papers for Policy & Resources Committee: