Every year the council consults local people and businesses on its budget proposals before they are finally approved at a meeting of the Full Council in February.
Budget consultation 2018-19
Last year we set out our proposals for a three year period to 2020 and asked for your views as part of our ‘Your Borough Your Future’ consultation - writes towerhamlets.gov.uk
This consultation set out the unprecedented challenges facing local government at the time. These are challenges council across the country continue to face.
Deep cuts to funding and rising pressures meant we have to save £58m from our annual budget by 2020.
This is in the face of an increasing population, which also places a greater strain on our services whilst there are more vulnerable people needing help.
Last year, we told you that we needed to save £1 from every £6 we spend and we set out how we planned to do that. A key part of how we proposed to do that was to move to a longer term approach to planning and to setting a three year budget.
This was well received by you in our consultation last year and has worked well for the council.
As a result we are proposing to extend our financial planning period to 2020/21 and to maintain this three year rolling programme.
Protecting frontline services
We are also proposing to continue with the approach we adopted last year which seeks to get the best outcomes we can for our residents with the money we have and to protect frontline services as far as possible.
The huge pressures we face mean that we do need to make further savings next year, however we are seeking to minimise the impact of these savings on local people by bringing in more money.
We propose to do this in two ways: better returns on longer term investments and achieving more from our assets
Supporting local people – especially the most vulnerable
This year, the council is proposing:
- Free school meals are available to all primary aged children and can continue into 2020/21;
- the Tackling Poverty Fund can continue into 2020/21
- crime and anti-social behaviour can be tackled using a neighbourhood model
- new apprenticeships are created in childcare
- private tenants continue to be protected through the council’s charter
- there are improvements to the monitoring of air quality
- increased demand in Children’s Servicesand ensuring support for our vulnerable residentsand an ageing population are properly budgeted for
- Better support for children and their families to avoid them being taken into care.
Our proposals for savings in 2020/21 are based on maintaining frontline services and include:
- generating savings through the re-procurement of contracts
- generating returns from other commercial opportunities
- savings and efficiencies in support services and
- transforming services for Adult Social Care.
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