Stoke-On-Trent City Council agreed the budget for 2013/14 on 28 February 2013. The City Council report can be viewed by clicking here.
The council needs to save £21 million in 2013/14 on top of the £56 million it has delivered over the last two years.
Overall the council has to save circa £125 million over the period 2011-2016 – which includes £23 million in 2014/15, and a further £20 million - £25 million in 2015/16.
The budget strategy will:
- Help residents to remain independent by offering more people more adult social care in their own homes by growing the independent sector.
- Redesign early years’ services that will allow the council to meet its new obligations to extend free nursery care to some two-year-olds from September and improve outcomes for our children based on the outcomes and recommendations of the specialist independent panel.
- Encourage inward investment, support existing businesses and attract new businesses to support job creation in Stoke-on-Trent.
- Deliver further cross cutting service reviews to drive out savings from procurement, back office changes, and streamlining support services.
Further savings proposed include:
- Freezing staff pay for the fourth year in a row
- General efficiency savings across office functions, services and supplies
- Removing compacting equipment and selling more recyclable material at civic amenity sites along with increasing income from trade waste services
- Reducing the vehicle fleet in line with demand as a result of changes to adult social care services
- Moving the service from St Michael’s centre into the home to assist people with short term rehabilitation needs
- Merging teams that support museums, culture, tourism and events to allow for greater efficiencies across these areas and reviewing pricing strategy for Gladstone and Potteries museums
- Reviewing car parking charges
- Amalgamating all property teams, reducing overheads
- Reviewing management of corporate facilities including reducing the staff canteen
- Reducing managers across the council on top of the 17 officer posts already deleted
- Grants to voluntary organisations will be reviewed so they are provided to those services that have the most benefit for the city’s residents
The £21 million will affect around 250 staff and the council will do all it can to facilitate redeployment.
Councillor Pervez, Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader, said: “In Stoke-on-Trent we are meeting the challenges head on. Not only in terms of balancing our books at the end of each year but also keeping our focus on our number one priority - jobs and growth.
“In terms of savings we have tried our best to safeguard front line services as far as possible and to protect the most vulnerable in our society. We have delivered, and we will continue to deliver, balanced budgets year on year.
“This budget is not just about savings, it is about promoting economic growth. The task facing Stoke-on-Trent is not simply about what goes on at this council. Our ambitious vision is for the city as a whole.
“We recognise that we have a proud industrial heritage and we are working with partners to negotiate a deal with central government for us to become the economic powerhouse for advanced manufacturing.
This deal will benefit both the city and the county by allowing us to remove the barriers to growth. It involves improving the connectivity and condition of our key employment sites.
“We want our city to become much more resilient to future economic challenges and that is why it is crucial that we diversify the range of jobs we have in the city.”
- Stoke-on Trent has received the 47th biggest cut in spending power out of all the 353 authorities in England in terms of ‘pounds reduction per dwelling’.
- From 2010/11 to 2014/15 the city council will have lost £373.50 for each household in the city.
- Stoke-on-Trent has the 2nd weakest tax base (2nd highest proportion (94 per cent) of properties in bands A, B and C) when compared to the other 92 unitary and metropolitan councils in England. This significantly limits the city council’s potential to raise additional income form council tax.
- At £946.18 per annum, Stoke-on-Trent has the 11th cheapest average council tax per property out of all the 324 billing authorities in England.
- The city council will have to deliver circa £100 million savings over the four years 2011/12 – 2014/15, and potentially a further £20 million - £25 million savings in 2015/16 are predicted
Despite this the city council is:
- Supporting Residents… …through a freeze in council tax
- Supporting business and growth… …by providing high quality advice and creating better competitive conditions for inward investment
- Maximising the use of our resources… …by introducing invest to save initiatives and making additional savings
- Taking a tough stance on benefit and tenancy fraud… …by continuing our national award winning ‘Spot the Cheater’ campaign
- Supporting our lowest paid workers… …with a commitment to pay a living wage from 1 April 2013
- Continuing to improve collection rates… …across all income streams
DID YOU KNOW?
- Council Tax accounts for less than 30 per cent of funding, with over half coming from central government, and the remaining 16 per cent from retained local business rates
- Stoke-On-Trent is the 16th most deprived area in England. Stoke-on-Trent ranks 137th highest out of the 151 counties,
London boroughs, unitary and metropolitan authorities for preventable deaths; 147th for smoking; 135th for teenage pregnancy;
and 109th for childhood obesity.
Substantial sums are still being spent on children’s and adult services and this accounts for nearly two-thirds of service expenditure
The Consultation documents These were the booklets that were produced for the budget consultation.
The Consultation documents
These were the booklets that were produced for the budget consultation.