13/12/2019 - Permalink

Financial Strategy includes Shropshire Council budget for 2020/21

Related topics: Corporate

This week Shropshire Council published its Financial Strategy 2020/21 to 2024/25, which includes the budget for 2020/21. The council has a gross budget of £578m, but once schools, benefits and other items which the council cannot control are taken out, the net budget is £219m.

This pays for over 150 different services which the council delivers, ranging from caring for vulnerable people (including those with significant disabilities); protecting children; registering births, deaths and marriages; assisting homeless people; maintaining highways, libraries and leisure centres; and the list goes on, including the things people usually remember such as emptying the bins, recycling waste and turning waste to energy.

The council has the lowest council tax amongst its statistical neighbours of rural councils. Since 2012 the council has saved £152m whilst maintaining frontline services as far as possible.

Shropshire has an increasingly older population (6% higher than the national average), and whilst this is very positive in terms of our way of life and culture, it does mean that our adult social care costs are greater than most areas, despite delivering some of the highest quality services at low cost by comparison. Adult social care services budgets are projected to increase by £11m in 2020/21 to £113m. This will look after 3,747 people, some of whom need around the clock, 24/7 care, 365 days of the year. Almost everyone will know someone who receives social care.

Peter Nutting, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:-

“The 2020/21 budget will be a challenge and we are tackling this mostly by innovating and changing how we deliver services, rather than cutting things out. This process never stops, and the staff of the council are relentless in applying innovation to deliver better services at lower cost.

“This year we plan to save £20.9m, and to do this our key proposals are new models of adult social care which will use predictive technology to ensure we assist people sooner; and new ways of delivering children’s social care to keep more children in a family environment, which we know is the best place for children to be wherever possible. We will also deliver more of the housing our communities need, and thereby generate new income streams through Cornovii Developments Limited, our new housing company.”

The Financial Strategy will be discussed at Cabinet on Monday 16 December 2019, and will then be open to consultation. The final budget for 2020/21 will be put to the Council Meeting on Thursday 27 February 2020, once the consultation process has ended.