City council approves £27m of cuts

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Nottingham City Council has agreed over £27m of savings in its budget for 2015/16 following further cuts in its Government funding.

The meeting of the full council today (March 9th) agreed proposals which will see changes to some services, job losses and a Council Tax increase of 1.95%.

Since 2010, the council’s funding from Government has shrunk by £72m, leading to £123m of savings being carried out by the council over the past four years.

The Council believes cities like Nottingham are being treated unfairly by the Government. Nottingham has lost more in Revenue Spending Power per household than places in the affluent south. Other pressures, such as the rising demand for services to support vulnerable people and protect children, are greater in cities like Nottingham. This means that for another year, the continuing cuts in grant means the Government is contributing less money to fund council services and local people and businesses in general are contributing more.

Nottingham City Council Deputy Leader Graham Chapman said: “Government funding for the council has been cut by another £29m this year and on top of this we are having to meet significant additional costs for things like supporting vulnerable children, the elderly and the cost of inflation. To help balance our budget we have agreed £25million in savings and to raise Council Tax by 1.95%.

“Nottingham, as with all urban areas in the North and Midlands, has been hit harder than more affluent places in the south and south-east. This is particularly unfair when councils in urban areas serve some of the most deprived communities in the country who need support the most.

“Despite this unfairness, we have managed so far to protect many frontline services and minimise the impacts felt by our communities. However, this cannot last as the Government demands even more cuts from councils which have already borne the brunt of their austerity measures.”

Some of the hard decisions about some council services included in the budget are:

• Reviewing charges for Adult Social Care – Introducing an average contribution of £20 a week for around 250 citizens receiving Care, Support and Enablement services

• Increasing Fees & Charges Review of charges for Adult Social Care Proposals: Day Care from £5 to £12 per day, transport to Day Centres from £5 to £8 per return journey, Jack Dawe from £17.50 to £22.50 per hour

• Reducing case management capacity in the Youth Offending Team

• Removing vacant posts in Youth Provision

• Reviewing Sports & Culture fees and charges

• Increasing cost of school meals from £1.75 to £1.80 per meal

• Changing day centre and residential care provision

• Children’s Centres – Expanding opportunities for schools to use children centre buildings, while maintaining Children’s Centre services to the community

• Rationalisation of Tourist Information Centre provision

• A reduction in the council workforce of up to 240.

The budget agreed by the council continues to do what it can to protect services, such as keeping children’s centres, keeping crime and anti-social behaviour down, keeping Nottingham as the cleanest city in the country, providing weekly bin collections and services to protect children and vulnerable adults. It was also agreed to bring in £9.5m in additional income, make more efficiencies and doing some things differently, saving £8m and reduce demand and review the way some services are commissioned, saving £2m.