Each year, the Council consults with its National Non-Domestic Ratepayers with regard to its overall financial position, and on its plans for the year ahead. Consultation is being made in writing with organisations representing businesses within the borough, and a notice will be placed on the Council’s website.
The severe financial pressures that the Council continues to face following the reductions in central government grant together with increases in public sector pay makes this another extremely challenging budget round. The Council relies heavily on central funding to deliver its services, and any funding reductions require it to make further budget cuts and efficiencies, and to generate additional income in order to deliver a balanced budget in the short medium term.
The Council’s cumulative settlement reductions equate to 40%, or £2m in cash terms over the full spending review period, 2016/17 to 2019/20 compared to the base position of 2015/16. Total settlement reductions compared to the amount received in 2010/11 will be 66% or £5.9m by 2019/20. Settlement has now reduced to 28% of Gedling’s net budget for 2018/19, falling to 25% by 2019/20 at current spending levels, compared to 60% in 2010/11.
Following the introduction of changes to the New Homes Bonus in 2016/17 the Council also faces a further reduction of £814,000 in its cumulative New Homes Bonus allocation for 2018/19, and further significant reductions are expected in the following years.
Despite the continuing budgetary pressures, the Leader of the Council has reaffirmed the Council’s intention to maintain high quality services. In order to do this, the Council will have to continue delivery of its planned budget reduction programme, and strive to identify still more efficiencies, as well as potential new income streams. The Council remains committed to economic development in the Borough and will retain two hour’s free car parking across the borough in 2018/19, in recognition of the continued importance placed on its impact on local shopping centres.
Cabinet is expected to agree its budget recommendations to Council at its meeting on Thursday 15 February 2018, with Council meeting to decide the budget on Monday 5 March 2018.
If you would like to make any comments regarding the 2018/19 budget, please write to me at the address given above, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be helpful to receive any such responses by Tuesday 13 February 2018.