Following one of the largest pieces of consultation Birmingham City Council has completed, the 2017/18 proposed budget will be taken to Cabinet on 14th February.
The consultation saw over 3,000 people respond and around 100,000 people engaged with during the activity to seek views on the proposals. Following this consultation a number of changes have been made to the budget, including:
- Reduced the proposed cuts by £7.5m, by using the £2.9m from the 1% extra the social care precept bring and an additional £4.6m in new sources of revenue.
- Reducing the cuts to Supporting People to £3.2m and Parks to £1.2m
- Not making the proposed 2017/18 £750k cuts the Museums
- Halting the proposed cuts to Post-16 travel budget
The proposed budget also sees the Council continuing to invest in services that the most vulnerable in the city rely on with £6.2M more in Adult Social Care and £2M more in Travel Assist.
Councillor John Clancy, the leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This has been the most difficult budget-making process Birmingham City Council has faced. We have cut spending by almost £600 million since 2010 and expect to make a further £170 million savings by 2021. There are no easy decisions to be made after seven years of Government-imposed austerity.
“We have engaged and consulted with more citizens than ever before because we were determined to make sure as many people as possible had a chance to comment on our spending proposals, at public meetings, through social media, and by writing to us.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to have their say. We have listened to the concerns raised in the consultation process and we’ve responded by making significant changes to our initial spending plans, reducing a forecast £78 million cut to £70 million.
“We are proposing to halve the cuts we were planning to make in the Supporting People budget in 2018-19 and significantly reduce planned cuts in 2017-18 so that we can better protect vulnerable and older citizens. We’ve taken on board the huge importance Brummies rightly place on parks and museums.
“After careful consideration we are proposing to halve the new savings proposals planned for parks and remove entirely the cuts proposed in 2017-18 for the Birmingham Museums Trust. We are proposing to put £750,000 back into the museums trust budget.
“We are also planning to put back into our spending plans £2 million to help meet the travel needs of children from low income families or with special educational needs, and we plan to invest £6.2 million more in adult social care for 2017-18.
“Birmingham citizens have spoken. We’ve listened, and will act.”
The budget will now be taken to Cabinet on the 14th February before going to Full Council on 28th February for final ratification.