Bury Council – Budget Consultation 2017

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Bury Council’s annual budget currently amounts to £448 million.

Since 2010, local authorities along with other public bodies have been subject to funding reductions so that the Government’s budget deficit can be reduced.

In February 2017, Bury Council must produce its budget for the 2017/18 financial year.  The Council is seeking comments as part of a budget consultation.

It is estimated that Bury Council will have to make cuts of around £32 million over the next three years in order to set a legal, balanced, and sustainable budget.

To provide certainty and stability, Bury Council intend to set a 3 year budget in February 2017, recognising that many service reform measures cannot be implemented in a single financial year, and will need time to develop and bed in.

Gross Budget

Bury Council’s annual budget is £448 million. 

The large budgets are for schools, who receive £163 million; Housing Benefit accounts for £51 million; and Public Health £12 million.

Of the remaining budget, Social Care (for Adults & Children) accounts for up to 60%.

The Council delivers over 150 different services to a population of over 186,000 (approximately 80,000 households) across.

How is the Council’s budget spent?

Costs of key services are summarised below:

  • £2.4 million operating 17 Libraries
  • £460k on Museums, Galleries & Culture
  • £4.0 million collecting your bins;
  • £12.5 million on Waste Disposal
  • £46.8 million on Adult Social Care
  • £10.6 million on Looked After Children
  • £1.2 million supporting sport and leisure facilities
  • £2.2 million maintaining Parks & Open Spaces
  • £6.4 million maintaining the borough’s highways.

Proposed Cuts

Resources & Regulation Directorate – £20 million annual budget.

Services provided by this Department include:

  •  Finance, Human Resources, IT
  •  Housing Benefits / Council Tax / Business Rates
  •  Highways Assets Management
  •  Planning Department
  •  Trading Standards
  •  Property Services

How is it proposed this will be achieved?

  • Reconfiguration of back office services (£900k); the Council operate a range of back office services including Finance, HR, IT, etc – all will be reviewed to ensure that structures deliver increasingly efficient and resilient services making best use of technology.
  • Collaborative Working (£800k); the Council will examine areas where services can be provided collaboratively – working with other local authorities and partner organisations.
  • Rationalisation of Council Property (£500k); the Council will continue to rationalize properties, making further use of technology and agile working practices.
  • Income Generation (£600k); the Council will seek to provide services to Public Sector Partners, trading services inside & outside the Borough (e.g. Payroll & Legal Services).
  • Highways Asset Management (£500k); the Council will review its approach to managing highways, ensuring structures are efficient and resilient, and investment levels are appropriate and affordable.
  • Investment in the Digital Agenda (£400k); the Council will secure process savings through continued investment in new technology.
  • Facilities Management (£750k); the Council will develop a more corporate approach to facilities management, ensuring assets are managed in a more coordinated manner and statutory obligations continue to be fulfilled.
  • Enforcement Functions (£300k); the Council will review enforcement activity.
  • Treasury Management (£1.35m); the Council will continue to generate surpluses by actively managing day to day cash flow, and management of longer term debt / investment portfolio.
  • Other Initiatives (£1.2m); further cost reductions will be generated by reviewing all budget areas over the period to 2020.

Children, Young People & Culture – £35 million annual budget

Services provided by this Department include:

  •  Schools
  •  Children’s Social Care
  •  Cleaning & Caretaking
  •  Culture
  •  Libraries

How is it proposed this will be achieved?

  • Optimisation of External Funding (£600k); proposed changes to external funding arrangements will enable some services currently directly funded by the Council to continue to be operable within these funding regimes.
  • Development of Early Years provision (£1.0m); restructure service provision currently available to all, to a targeted provision available to those in greatest need, mainly through an outreach service.
  • Looked After Children/Fostering (£1.2m); reducing costs of Looked After Children through investment initiatives, such as the Adolescent Support Unit, recruiting additional foster carers / adopters to reduce reliance on independent fostering agencies.
  • Service Reviews (£2.6m); reviews of many services within the department with a view to further cost reductions and service reorganisation.
  • Review of Management and Administrative structures (£730k); reduced costs through further restructuring of management and administrative functions.
  • Other Initiatives (£720k); includes changes in working practices/arrangements and further central relocation of services from outlying buildings.
  • Reduced Pension Liability (£500k); declining number of former employees eligible to belong to the teachers/lecturers’ national pension scheme.
  • Changes to school funding regime (£350k); the Government are devolving the funding for services such as the School Improvement service directly to schools and academies so they can make their own arrangements from their own school resources.

Communities & Wellbeing – £70 million annual budget

Services provided by this Department include:

  •  Adult Social Care
  •  Waste Management
  •  Highways Repairs
  •  Sport & Leisure
  •  Public Health
  •  Environmental Health
  •  Strategic Housing

How is it proposed this will be achieved?

  • Health & Social Care Integration (£5.7m); closer alignment with the NHS to jointly manage demand and future service costs.
  • Review of Operational Services (£2.1m); all operational services to undergo reviews, ensuring services are increasingly sustainable, affordable, and in line with the Council’s vision
  • Review of Leisure & Wellbeing Service (£900k); development of a Wellbeing Service, and working actively towards a significantly reduced reliance on Council support in respect of Leisure Services and Civic Halls.
  • Review of Transport Arrangements (£300k); reviewing the Council’s transport fleet requirements in light of service reviews. Ensuring the most economic approach to procurement and deployment of vehicles.
  • Public Protection & Enforcement (£500k); consolidation of public protection functions, e.g. Environmental Health, Public Health, and optimisation of external grants
  • Housing Related Services (£350k); review of the Council’s housing related services to reduce costs whilst still maintaining appropriate levels of service.
  • Review of Organisational Infrastructure (£2.3m); department-wide review of management structures in light of new service delivery models to reduce costs.
  • Devolution Transformation Funding (£4.0m); use of funding available from Greater Manchester to support delivery of new working models partnering with the NHS.
  • Other Initiatives (£850k); review of other service areas to reduce cost and maximise income generation opportunities.

Extra Income from Council Tax?

The ruling Labour Party on Bury Council anticipate that Council Tax will rise by 1.94% for each of the three financial years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.  In addition, there will be an extra 2% rise to fund Adult Social Care pressures; giving an assumed Council Tax increase of 3.94% per annum.

A 3.94% equates to an increase of £53 per year (roughly £1 per week) for an average “Band D” property.

How can you get involved in the consultation?

Attend a public meeting – Ramsbottom/North Manor/ Tottington Township Forum (Public Meeting) at 7pm on 10 January 2017. Tottington Methodist Church

More details can be found on the Council’s website where you can comment online: www.bury.gov.uk/Budget201720

Email – Budget201720@bury.gov.uk

Write – Budget201720, Bury Council, Knowsley Street, Bury, BL9 OSW.

Close of Public Consultation – 31 January 2017