Posted on Friday 17th February 2017
Bournemouth Council’s Cabinet recommends budget to Full Council
Bournemouth Council’s Cabinet have agreed recommendations for the 2017/18 budget, which will be presented to Full Council on the 21 February.
In assessing its spending commitments for the year ahead, the Council is anticipating a reduction in central government funding of £6.9m for 2017/18 and a further reduction of £4.4m for 2018/19. In addition to these existing pressures, the Council recognised very early the need to respond to an £8m gap in the base budget to balance the books for 2017/18. Despite having already identified savings of over £13m for 2017/18, Cabinet has reluctantly had to recommend an increase in Council tax of 4.98%, made up of a 1.99% increase in standard council tax and the addition of a 3% Adult Social Care precept, to help plug this gap.
The proposed budget once again makes substantial provision for the most vulnerable with an additional £9 million allocated to Adults’ and Children’s Social Care for 2017/18. This means that next year approximately 75% of the Council’s entire budget will be used to meet the cost of statutory, demand led social care services.
Councillor John Beesley, Leader of the Council, set the scene by stating that “The effective management of the Council’s finances has never been as crucial as it is today, recognising an unprecedented position of continued and deepening cuts in central government funding and simultaneous increases in the demand for services. Since 2011, Bournemouth has suffered a reduction of £40.2m in the Government’s Revenue Support Grant (RSG) which equates to 77% less RSG funding for 2017/18”.
He went on to say “The latest reductions in Government funding represent significant challenges but we should remember that the Council has a proven track record of managing the delivery of services and balancing its financial position year on year. Given the uncertainties of current and future Local Government funding, the Budget we are recommending to the Council is financially sound, continues to deliver front line services and supports those residents most in need in our local community”.