National and Devolved Politics

13.02.18

Birmingham City to make cuts of £53m in next year in bid to balance books

Birmingham City Council has revealed its plans to invest in housing and social care despite needing to make savings of £53m in its 2018-19 budget.

In its proposed financial plan for next year, England’s biggest council has said that it will invest £30.4m into adult social care.

Over the next four years it also plans to invest £468m in a Council Housing Capital Programme, including £196m for new homes and regeneration.

The budget has been announced during a difficult financial period for the council. In March, the authority admitted that its budgetary challenges would be “difficult” in 2017-18.

In September, the government improvement panel that had previously been removed was reinstated amidst fears that another financial downturn was imminent following Birmingham’s leader stepping down.

As part of its efficiency targets, the council has proposed a council tax increase of 3.99%, including the 1% social care precept, which the Birmingham Post claims is being “stored up” until after May’s local government elections.

The council proposes to make savings by helping vulnerable people, such as those with learning disabilities or mental health conditions, to access services in the community rather than being in residential care, and working with the NHS to avoid admission of older people to hospital, and introducing a range of new charges on some care services, such as where an individual “overstays” in enhanced assessment beds.

Although this proposal is not expected to yield any savings in 2018-19, it is expected to save £39m by 2021-22.

Following a consultation of council support services in October 2017, the council proposes a full service review and redesign, which it says will streamline activity and require “re-prioritisation and focus on delivery of key areas enabling support services to support frontline services.”

Over time, this will see a reduction of around 67 posts and is expected to make savings of over £2.7m a year.

In 2018-19, over £5m savings are expected to be made through a reduction in Children’s Trust contract payments due to savings which have been made by the trust.

Other proposals include amending parking charges, stopping using bed and breakfasts to provide temporary accommodation for households, and increasing revenue from advertising contracts.

Council leader, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “We have listened and, even at a time of continuing government cuts, we are investing in the services that matter most to the people of Birmingham.”

Speaking of the proposed council tax increase, he added: “It's also clear that many households are struggling with the increased cost of living, so the council tax increase will now be lower than the one we consulted on.”

He continued: “Government funding for the services that people across Birmingham rely on has been cut by almost £650m since 2010 and sadly we anticipate having to make further cuts of £123m by 2021-22.

“We have to make cuts of £53m for 2018-19 and inevitably that has meant having to make some difficult decisions.

“Those decisions have been informed by the people of this city and I would like to thank everyone who took time to have a say in our consultation.”

The budget will be taken to the cabinet today, before going to full council on 27 February for final approval.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

16/10/2018Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

UK councils detected or prevented a total of £302m in fraud in 2017-18, according to CIPFA. The organisation found that the number of ... more >
Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

16/10/2018Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

A former employee of Westminster City Council has been found guilty of stealing nearly £1m from the council pension fund. Ian Woodall,... more >
Protesters gather as councillors meet to discuss mass children’s centre closures

15/10/2018Protesters gather as councillors meet to discuss mass children’s centre closures

Demonstrators and parents have gathered outside County Hall in Norwich to protest against planned mass children’s centre closures as Norfol... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

11/10/2018500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

Up to 500 jobs are at risk at Wolverhampton and residents face a council tax rise of 4.99% in what has been described as “the most significant financial challenge the council has ever faced... more >
Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

05/10/2018Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

James Brokenshire has formally ended the government’s intervention in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council following “significant improvements” in a recent review. The Mini... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic shift in how cities evolve into our data-rich future. We’re used to big-screen sci-fi future cities being dystopian monoliths to everything wrong with the worl... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with many organisations both in the public and private sectors now embeddi... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the current health of local government finance, and how a bette... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
The Convention of the North

15/10/2018The Convention of the North

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, discusses the findings of the very first Convention of the North, which was held in Newcastle... more >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News