Plans to protect key council services and support vulnerable residents are set to continue next year, as the council invites residents and businesses to have their say on budget proposals for 2018/19.
This year, the council is proposing:
- Free School Meals remain available to all primary aged children and that this continues into 2020/21;
- The Tackling Poverty Fund continues into 2020/21;
- Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour be tackled using a neighbourhood model;
- New apprenticeships are created in childcare;
- Private tenants continue to be protected through the council’s charter;
- Improvements to the monitoring of air quality;
- To properly budget for increased demand in Children’s Services and ensuring support for our vulnerable residents and an ageing population;
- Better support for familes and their children to avoid them being taken into care.
Proposals for savings in 2020/21 are based on maintaining frontline services and include:
- Generating savings through the re-procurement of council contracts;
- Generating income returns from commercial opportunities;
- Savings and efficiencies in support services; and
- Transforming Services for Adult Social Care.
Commenting on the proposals, Mayor John Biggs said: “By continuing with the approach we adopted last year, we are putting the protection of the most vulnerable members of our community at the heart of these budget proposals.
“The huge financial pressures we face due to government funding reductions mean that we do need to make further savings next year, however we are aiming to minimise the impact of these savings on local people by bringing in more money.”
Lead Member for Resources, Councillor David Edgar added: “Our proposals aim to get the best outcome we can for our residents with the money we have and to protect frontline services as far as possible.”
The budget consultation will run until Monday 22 January 2018.