Budget consultation 2023/24

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Overview

Like many local authorities and households across the country, Barnet is facing unprecedented funding pressures in the face of rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. The council is also facing continuing reduced funding from central government.

Despite these significant budget pressures we remain committed to delivering services that help and support our residents, and we will continue to aim to create a better borough for all our communities.

As well as supporting our communities, we also need to ensure the responsible management of our finances. All local authorities are legally required to set a balanced budget every year and ensure they have enough money to deliver services to their residents and businesses.

To reach our goal of a balanced budget for 2023/24 we have been planning ahead carefully to meet both the current and future financial challenges. We are working on identifying savings and income proposals across the council to enable us to invest in our priorities and meet our demand pressures.


How we are responding to the financial challenge

We have always taken a long-term and proactive approach to financial planning in difficult circumstances. We have saved over £213 million between 2010 and 2022 and protected frontline services as far as possible. Looking forward we face an anticipated budget gap of just over £30 million to 2026/27, this includes a £1.7 million budget gap for the next financial year 2023/24.

We must now prioritise our limited resources effectively and develop plans to deliver the best outcomes for residents within these unprecedented times of financial constraints.

Despite these challenges we remain ambitious for Barnet and the people who live, study, work, and visit here. This year we have been developing a new Corporate Plan and in December 2022 Policy and Resources Committee agreed a new approach for our Corporate Plan, including an emerging vision for Barnet to be a council that ‘cares for people, our places and the planet’, based on a foundation of being an engaged and effective council.

For more information on our plans, priorities and how we will meet our financial challenges in the future, please take the time to read our consultation document. You can also read the Policy and Resources Committee Business Planning Report which sets out in full the council’s proposed budget for 2023/24.


What are we seeking your views on

To balance our budget for next year (2023/24) we have developed a set of proposals to save money or generate income that we would like your views on. In particular, we are seeking your views on:

  • the overall budget, and our savings and income generation proposals for 2023/24
  • our proposal to increase general Council Tax, whilst delivering the promised 1% refund and keeping any increase well below the legal maximum
  • our proposal to also apply a Adult Social Care Precept on Council Tax to help pay for adult social care.

We welcome views from all our residents, as well as people who study, work or have a business in the borough. We also welcome feedback from local organisations and community groups.


How to give us your views

Please take the time to read our consultation document before completing our questionnaire.

If you require a paper copy of the consultation document and questionnaire or another format, please email: budgetconsultation@barnet.gov.uk or telephone the Consultation and Engagement Team on 020 8359 7016.


What happens after the consultation closes

The findings from the consultation will be reported to Policy and Resources Committee on the 22 February 2023 and will then be considered by Full council on 28 February 2023 before final approval of the 2023/24 budget.


Overview

Like many local authorities and households across the country, Barnet is facing unprecedented funding pressures in the face of rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. The council is also facing continuing reduced funding from central government.

Despite these significant budget pressures we remain committed to delivering services that help and support our residents, and we will continue to aim to create a better borough for all our communities.

As well as supporting our communities, we also need to ensure the responsible management of our finances. All local authorities are legally required to set a balanced budget every year and ensure they have enough money to deliver services to their residents and businesses.

To reach our goal of a balanced budget for 2023/24 we have been planning ahead carefully to meet both the current and future financial challenges. We are working on identifying savings and income proposals across the council to enable us to invest in our priorities and meet our demand pressures.


How we are responding to the financial challenge

We have always taken a long-term and proactive approach to financial planning in difficult circumstances. We have saved over £213 million between 2010 and 2022 and protected frontline services as far as possible. Looking forward we face an anticipated budget gap of just over £30 million to 2026/27, this includes a £1.7 million budget gap for the next financial year 2023/24.

We must now prioritise our limited resources effectively and develop plans to deliver the best outcomes for residents within these unprecedented times of financial constraints.

Despite these challenges we remain ambitious for Barnet and the people who live, study, work, and visit here. This year we have been developing a new Corporate Plan and in December 2022 Policy and Resources Committee agreed a new approach for our Corporate Plan, including an emerging vision for Barnet to be a council that ‘cares for people, our places and the planet’, based on a foundation of being an engaged and effective council.

For more information on our plans, priorities and how we will meet our financial challenges in the future, please take the time to read our consultation document. You can also read the Policy and Resources Committee Business Planning Report which sets out in full the council’s proposed budget for 2023/24.


What are we seeking your views on

To balance our budget for next year (2023/24) we have developed a set of proposals to save money or generate income that we would like your views on. In particular, we are seeking your views on:

  • the overall budget, and our savings and income generation proposals for 2023/24
  • our proposal to increase general Council Tax, whilst delivering the promised 1% refund and keeping any increase well below the legal maximum
  • our proposal to also apply a Adult Social Care Precept on Council Tax to help pay for adult social care.

We welcome views from all our residents, as well as people who study, work or have a business in the borough. We also welcome feedback from local organisations and community groups.


How to give us your views

Please take the time to read our consultation document before completing our questionnaire.

If you require a paper copy of the consultation document and questionnaire or another format, please email: budgetconsultation@barnet.gov.uk or telephone the Consultation and Engagement Team on 020 8359 7016.


What happens after the consultation closes

The findings from the consultation will be reported to Policy and Resources Committee on the 22 February 2023 and will then be considered by Full council on 28 February 2023 before final approval of the 2023/24 budget.

Page last updated: 30 Jan 2023, 01:46 PM