Budget agreed for 2017/18

The Brighton & Hove City Council budget for 2017/18 has been set at Budget Council today (Thursday 23 February).

An increase of 4.99% in the Brighton & Hove element of the Council Tax was agreed. This includes an additional 3% precept to fund the increasing demands and cost of adult social care.

The council provides more than 700 services residents see or use every day. At Budget Council, councillors debated how to allocate the £204million General Fund budget 2017/18 which funds council services.

Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the council, said: “As a council we are modernising, managing responsibly, innovating and changing the way we do things to make savings while investing in new resources and revenue generation.

“This budget is the best way to meet the challenges and deal with the reality of the finances for the year ahead. But the rise in council tax to 4.99% is a move I proposed with a heavy heart as we know this will be an added pressure for people on lower incomes.

“The increasing cost and demand for social care means we have to apply the full 3% social care precept to council tax this year. Across the country councils are taking similar measures in response to this national issue.

“In Brighton & Hove we are committed to getting the basics right, protecting the vulnerable and growing an economy that benefits all. This focus helps us to protect and promote our city as we move forward.”

Our budget priorities

The council continues to look at innovative ways to deliver services and generate income to meet the changing financial landscape. This is reflected in the three key priorities of this budget:

Getting the basics right

  • For example, improved waste and recycling services, new parking meters, tackling fly-tippers and litter, customer service, supporting communities, protecting cultural assets

Protecting the most vulnerable

  • For example, funding projected demand for adult and children’s social care and temporary accommodation, protecting funding for domestic violence services and support services for rough sleepers

Growing an economy that benefits all

  • For example, regeneration projects (such as the Waterfront, Shelter Hall, Preston Barracks and King Alfred), successful collaboration with regional partners and increasing the numbers of apprentices

The council has saved £76 million in the last four years largely to keep pace with the demands and inflationary cost of social care and temporary accommodation. The Budget 2017/18 includes funding to meet the projected demand for adult and children’s social care and temporary accommodation, at a cost of £12 million. The gross cost of providing these services is significantly more than the £128 million we will receive in council tax

Spending on schools, housing benefit and council housing is ring-fenced by law. More than 40% of the budget comes from government grants ring-fenced specifically for schools and housing benefit. About 7% comes from housing rents and is ring-fenced for council housing.

The main budget 2017/18 was voted through with amendments. There were six amendments passed which related to funding for the youth service, third sector grants and early help. These amendments related to less than £2 million of the overall budget. In particular, debate focused on youth services where £440,000 was added back into the budget from a proposed saving of £645,000.

More information: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/bhbudget