The draft budget will be heard by scrutiny committees before being considered by the Council’s executive on 13 February. A meeting of the full Council on 8 March 2019 will then set the final budget.
Manchester City Council’s draft budget proposals have been published, completing the three year budget commitment for the period 2017/18 to 2019/20.
Despite funding pressures, the Council is on track to meet the three year plan, which was agreed following the large-scale consultation with residents to understand what mattered most to them.
Residents have told us that the things they valued most were care and support for vulnerable people, helping families in poverty, tackling homelessness, improving access to jobs and training, upgrading our roads and ensuring our neighbourhoods are clean and well managed, and leisure investment to keep people active and happy.
More than half of the Council’s budget (51%) is invested in caring for our vulnerable adults and children, while around 8% of the total budget funds waste collection, disposal and recycling services.
Going into year three, these key priorities will continue to shape the fabric of the budget and although funding challenges will continue into 2019/20 – especially with growing need for adult and children’s social care – the budget will be balanced this year.
Additional government funding of over £12m has been made available from the Autumn Budget Statement Announcements and the Provisional Finance Settlement, largely relating to Social Care Services. This is welcome but insufficient to cover the increasing needs of our residents and is not confirmed beyond 2019/20, which hinders longer term planning.
The above is in the context of austerity since 2010 which has had a significant impact on the council. Between 2010/11 to 2019/20 the Councils Spending Power (as defined by government) has reduced by £179m (29%) which compares to an England average reduction of 16%. The fall in spending power per head is the 10th worst nationally at £355.
The Council is proposing to make further savings of £15m in 2019/20. This takes the total savings requirement to £372m from 2010 up to 2019/20, after taking into account inflation and rising demand.
Key investments for 2019/20
- Additional investment in Children’s services of £13.6m, £10.8m more than the £2.8m agreed in the original budget to help support the city’s most vulnerable young people and ensure our children get the best start in life.
- Additional investment for Adult Social care of £11.4m, £7.6m more than the £3.8m agreed in the original budget.
- Further significant investment in Children's and Adults Services over the next three years
- £4.3m extra funding to support homelessness services, in addition to the £250k in the original budget.
- This includes an extra £0.5m for enhanced enforcement in the Private Rented Sector that supports homeless families.
- £0.5m on fly-tipping (enforcement or clearance) to improve neighbourhoods
- £1.1m additional funding for the impact of Welfare Reform
Priority areas for investment, highlighted by residents during the three year budget continue to be met, including:
- Highways continue the £100m improvement programme with major schemes coming online this year, including £1.7m on repairing pot holes.
- Major refurbishment of Moss Side Leisure Centre is now complete.
- Council built affordable homes have been completed in north Manchester, while empty properties in east Manchester (Ben Street) have been brought back into use.
- Longford Centre in Chorlton opened to support residents vulnerable to becoming homeless.
The City Council has the opportunity to further increase the Council’s element of the bill by 1%, but will keep the 3.49% level (1.99% Council Tax and 1.5% Adult Social Care) as this is what was agreed with residents at the outset of our three year budget promise.
This is also in recognition that both Mayoral and policing precepts – parts of the overall bill which fund non-Council services - are expected to rise, so the Council is doing what it can to limit the impact on residents while maintaining services.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The impact of government funding cuts is hitting cities like Manchester hardest and continued austerity measures are impacting the lives of our most vulnerable residents. We have navigated an incredibly difficult financial year to ensure our budget continues to balance, while maintaining and investing in the vital services – from homelessness services to waste collections - that matter most to Manchester people.”
Cllr Carl Ollerhead, Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources, said: “Many of our residents remain under huge financial pressure, including the continued impact of welfare reforms such as Universal Credit. This is why we’re investing £1.1m to support those people directly, and it’s also important to us that we maintain changes to our Council Tax at the levels we agreed at the start of our three year budget to help limit the impact of rising costs.”