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Finance and Business Planning Consultation 2013/4

This consultation has now closed.



Overview

The Government’s plans to cut public spending by £81 billion by 2015 are having a big impact on councils across the country. In Barnet, this has led to a 26 per cent cut in the council’s funding from central government which means we need to make savings in our budget of £72.5 million . Like all local authorities, the council is faced with making some difficult decisions on how best to continue services with reduced resources, while trying to minimise the impact on residents.

The council has adopted a three-year financial strategy (our Medium Term Financial Strategy) that allows us to carefully plan for spending over the medium term.

The council’s approach to business planning has been to try and minimise the impact of funding reductions on front line services as far as possible through back office efficiencies and developing alternative ways to deliver services. Over the next three years the council is proposing savings of around £55 million. Of the total savings identified, 90 per cent will be from efficiencies, eight per cent from service reductions and two per cent is related to increases in income.

In 2013/14 the council is proposing to freeze Council Tax again to protect family budgets. This will be the fourth year of frozen Council Tax, even though inflation has increased by a total of 11.5 per cent during the same period.

At the same time, we need to ensure that the council’s priorities are in line with the priorities of residents. Last year residents asked that we support the local economy, particularly supporting young people to get into work. As a result, the council invested an additional £1 million to support young people into employment as well as an additional £3.5 million in the borough’s transport network.

The council plans to build on this approach by focusing on creating the right environment for growth across the borough. Economic growth, managed in a responsible way, is essential for ensuring that Barnet remains a place where people want to live and where opportunities exist for all.

There will be a continuing need for the council and its partners to support families and individuals who need it. It is essential that this is reflected in the council’s revised Corporate Plan, as is the continuing priority that residents are satisfied with their local environment.

For more information on the council’s annual finance and business planning, please read the full Cabinet report which sets out the council’s budget for the period 2013/14 – 2015/16 and its strategic priorities. You can also view the detailed the savings we are proposing.

Why We Are Consulting

We want to know your views on the budget we have proposed in terms of the savings we have identified for 2013/14 and the priorities we have identified within each service area.

You will see in our business plan that we are also proposing a number of savings which will not affect the front line services we provide. These savings are generally efficiency savings and are marked as ‘general consultation’ in the detailed service savings. We are particularly keen to hear your views on these.

We also want to hear your views on the proposals for a new Corporate Plan which sets out the council’s future strategic direction.

As well as this general consultation, we are running a number of detailed service specific consultations where we are proposing to make savings to our front line services.

Give Us Your Views

Please give us your views on the emerging objectives for a new Corporate Plan by completing this survey.

We would also like to hear your views on the the savings and the priorities we have identified within each service area by completing our Finance and Business Planning Survey .



Overview

The Government’s plans to cut public spending by £81 billion by 2015 are having a big impact on councils across the country. In Barnet, this has led to a 26 per cent cut in the council’s funding from central government which means we need to make savings in our budget of £72.5 million . Like all local authorities, the council is faced with making some difficult decisions on how best to continue services with reduced resources, while trying to minimise the impact on residents.

The council has adopted a three-year financial strategy (our Medium Term Financial Strategy) that allows us to carefully plan for spending over the medium term.

The council’s approach to business planning has been to try and minimise the impact of funding reductions on front line services as far as possible through back office efficiencies and developing alternative ways to deliver services. Over the next three years the council is proposing savings of around £55 million. Of the total savings identified, 90 per cent will be from efficiencies, eight per cent from service reductions and two per cent is related to increases in income.

In 2013/14 the council is proposing to freeze Council Tax again to protect family budgets. This will be the fourth year of frozen Council Tax, even though inflation has increased by a total of 11.5 per cent during the same period.

At the same time, we need to ensure that the council’s priorities are in line with the priorities of residents. Last year residents asked that we support the local economy, particularly supporting young people to get into work. As a result, the council invested an additional £1 million to support young people into employment as well as an additional £3.5 million in the borough’s transport network.

The council plans to build on this approach by focusing on creating the right environment for growth across the borough. Economic growth, managed in a responsible way, is essential for ensuring that Barnet remains a place where people want to live and where opportunities exist for all.

There will be a continuing need for the council and its partners to support families and individuals who need it. It is essential that this is reflected in the council’s revised Corporate Plan, as is the continuing priority that residents are satisfied with their local environment.

For more information on the council’s annual finance and business planning, please read the full Cabinet report which sets out the council’s budget for the period 2013/14 – 2015/16 and its strategic priorities. You can also view the detailed the savings we are proposing.

Why We Are Consulting

We want to know your views on the budget we have proposed in terms of the savings we have identified for 2013/14 and the priorities we have identified within each service area.

You will see in our business plan that we are also proposing a number of savings which will not affect the front line services we provide. These savings are generally efficiency savings and are marked as ‘general consultation’ in the detailed service savings. We are particularly keen to hear your views on these.

We also want to hear your views on the proposals for a new Corporate Plan which sets out the council’s future strategic direction.

As well as this general consultation, we are running a number of detailed service specific consultations where we are proposing to make savings to our front line services.

Give Us Your Views

Please give us your views on the emerging objectives for a new Corporate Plan by completing this survey.

We would also like to hear your views on the the savings and the priorities we have identified within each service area by completing our Finance and Business Planning Survey .