West Berkshire Council

Budget Proposal for 2016/17 - Phase Two

These consultations are closed. The budget was decided by Full Council on 24 March 2016.

You can view the minutes from the Full Council Meeting on 24 March 2016 online.

Why was there a second phase?

From 3 November to 14 December 2015, we consulted with you on the need to make £10.8m of savings in 2016/17. £4.6m of these savings affected frontline services. The consultation generated over 2,500 responses and covered 47 individual budget proposals. Your feedback was considered by the Council's Executive on 11 February and the Full Council made a final decision on 1 March 2016.

Shortly before Christmas 2015, the Government began a public consultation on local government funding. They proposed to reduce our funding by 44% (Revenue Support Grant). This announcement was totally unexpected. We are required to set our budget on 1 March 2016 and were faced with the challenge of finding a total of £18m of savings, whilst also considering increases in Council Tax.  We therefore consulted on a further £2.1m of public facing budget proposals.

We responded to the government's consultation, drawing attention to the significant difficulties and challenges that this proposed reduction in funding, and the future approach to funding, would have on us being able to maintain the services we provide. The government  advised us that, having listened to the responses to the consultation, it decided to give the council an additional grant of just under £1.4m next year and the year after. Whilst this news was welcomed, it only resulted in a limited impact on our need to make significant savings.

Whilst we will continue to try and protect the priorities set out in the Council Strategy, the requirement to find even more savings in 2016/17 will mean that, just maintaining the services that are important to you, will be very challenging.

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