Birmingham City Council today launched the 2015+ budget consultation, issuing a white paper following discussion on the green paper Responding to the Challenge, Looking to the Future, published in October.
Sir Albert Bore wrote:
This white paper sets out in more detail our proposed budget savings for next year and begins to identify some of the savings we will need for future years.
As far as possible we have developed our proposals in line with the above medium-term plan for change. District committees will undertake a review of their allotted savings targets throughout December and develop detailed proposals in line with their priorities. These will be consulted on during January and February 2015.
But the speed of the cuts in government funding is seriously hampering our attempts to plan for the future and this year is the most difficult we have faced so far. Whatever our longer term plans, we must by law â€œbalance the booksâ€
in each year, so we have also found it necessary to propose some other reductions in services, and discontinuation of services, which we would not have considered if the cuts had been less steep.
Throughout these difficult years we have been honest, open and transparent with the people of Birmingham and I hope you will therefore understand the difficult choices we are having to make and the reasons behind them. The green paper also set out how we have sought to prioritise services, with the top priority being to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens, in particular children. As we make these decisions, we will continue to be guided by the outcomes we are trying to achieve for the city.
Despite the cuts I believe we have begun to set out a clear direction of change and started to work together to make progress towards our goals. Over the year ahead we aim to intensify the process of change at every level, so that we can emerge from this period of austerity in better shape to provide the leadership and the services that our city deserves.
There is also a factsheet for each proposal that gives more detail about the proposed changes in different areas of the councilâ€™s work and the implications of these changes.