Council Budget 2019 - 2020

 

Introduction

South Gloucestershire Council is responsible for a range of services which your local area receives such as refuse collection and disposal, street cleaning, planning, education, social care services and road maintenance.

South Gloucestershire Council is currently consulting on its budget, council tax levels for next year, and its overall savings plan. Each year, we ask council tax payers for their views before agreeing our budget and council tax. This is your opportunity to comment on the council’s priorities, its council tax and its proposals to improve services and increase efficiency.

As a local resident, it is important that you have a say in how we shape services in the future, and our budget consultation is a key part of this. The consultation is open from Monday 15th October until midnight Monday 31st December - skip to the bottom of the page to find out how to take part.

 

We are consulting on 3 areas:

1. The Council Budget and Savings Programme

Including spending on schools, the Council is budgeting to spend £618.5m in 2019/20 of which central government is contributing £87.5m towards general services and a further £212.1m specifically towards meeting Schools’ expenditure. Up to 2018/19 the council will have delivered in excess of £81m of savings to reduce cost pressures and keep the council’s spending within its funding envelope.  However, the council’s medium term financial planning indicates that more savings are required over the forthcoming 4 years to keep pace with increasing cost pressures and reducing government funding.  This is not an uncommon situation for a council to be faced with and is one that this council has been adept at managing in recent years.  Through financial planning over the medium term and effective management of its one-off reserves, the council has been able to develop a Transformation & Savings Programme that allows time for sustainable implementation and meaningful consultation, be that either internally with staff or externally with members of the public depending on the saving being proposed.

The council’s Cabinet approved a report in July 2018, available to view here which gave high level details of the transformation programmes to be taken forward by each department covering the proposals, consultation and decision making routes to be developed further.  The key focus being to ensure the council’s medium term financial plan is sustainable through the development of various initiatives to deliver improved value for money and reduce the rate of forecast increase in demand, while as far as possible improving or maintaining services.

This table shows the services across which the council spends its funding – both as gross expenditure (£618.5m in total) and as net budget i.e. taking into account income (£212.8m). The table below shows the current % of savings proposed to be delivered by each department, along with the % reduction delivered to date. These proposals have been developed working in partnership with specialist consultants to ensure the proposals are as robust as possible at this stage in the process and take account of what is being done in other local authorities across the country.

The table below shows how the Council plans to fund its expenditure:

 

2. Council Tax & Adult Social Care Precept

Prior to 2016/17 the Council had frozen council tax levels for five consecutive years. However, for 2016/17 the Government ended its council tax freeze grant scheme and also allowed local authorities with Adult Social Care responsibilities to raise an additional 2% council tax ’precept’ to support care for older people. This flexibility was subsequently increased to allow local authorities to increase the Adult Social Care Precept by up to 3% per annum, capped at 6% across 2017/18 to 2019/20. 

In February of this year the Council approved its 2018/19 revenue budget, confirming a council tax increase of 2.99% along with the 3% precept for adult social care. It also approved outline budgets for the following three years (2019/20 to 2021/22) to help it plan for the future. These included planning assumptions for council tax to rise by 2.99% in 2019/20 and 1.99% thereafter in line with indicative government referendum limits. No further increase is currently available to the Adult Social Precept and will be subject to government change in the forthcoming Budget Statement in the autumn.

Whilst the Council has based its plans on an assumed council tax rise of 2.99% for 2019/20, this is subject to approval by Committee in February, and the feedback we get from local residents through this consultation helps local Councillors make a final decision.

A rise of 2.99% in 2019/20 would contribute £4.1m towards local council services. This would mean an increase of approximately £43.09 per year (or equivalent to £3.59 per month) for a band D household.

 

3. Changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme

South Gloucestershire Council became responsible for its local Council Tax Reduction scheme “council tax benefit” from 2013. The local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTR) uses a person’s income to decide how much discount to apply to their council tax liability. The council is now consulting on two possible changes in light of the wider roll out of Universal Credit across the region.  Information about the current scheme can be found here

 

How to find out more and have your say:

  • Read the Initial Equalities Impact Analysis and Assessment to see how the proposed budget affects different groups of residents
  • Complete our online survey for residents or for organisations
  • Download a PDF of our survey for residents to print out and post to the address below
  • Write to: Freepost RTXL-YJXJ-BXEX, South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Research & Consultation Team, Council offices, Badminton Road, Yate, Bristol, BS37 5AF
  • Pick up a paper copy of the consultation document or survey at your local library or One Stop Shop
  • Phone the Senior Consultation Officer on 01454 868154
  • Email: consultation@southglos.gov.uk

Timeline

  • Opened
    15 Oct 2018 at 10:00
  • Closes
    31 Dec 2018 at 23:59
  • Response Published
    31 Mar 2019

Documents

Details

Consultation Topic
Geographical area
Marking a consultation as relevant to a particular audience indicates that it may be of special relevance to people within that group. It doesn't, however, mean that other groups wont find the consultation of interest - we welcome responses from everybody.
For example, education issues may be of particular interest to Parents & Guardians, and so will be shown to people searching the system for parenting issues, but the views of others (eg: Business, Faith Groups) are also relevant.
Target Audience
Contact Details