19/12/2022 - Permalink

Your views sought on council budget plans 

Related topics: Community / Finance and budget

Plans by Shropshire Council to close its budget gap, manage the impacts of inflation, deliver priorities in the Shropshire Plan and bring its budget into balance, are now out for consultation.

Shropshire Council's budget consultation is now open.

Have your say on the council’s budget proposals.

The council is proposing a transformation and efficiency programme that will save £50.6 million in the next year.

Ongoing impacts of COVID and broader economic conditions, particularly the effects of inflation and rising energy costs, are at the root of the budget challenge facing the council.

Most of the focus will be on greater efficiencies in services in what is the last chance to achieve a sustainable budget for Shropshire Council. It has no option but to make the savings, as if it does not, others will come in and make the decisions for it.

Pressures are continuing from increased demand for services, particularly for social care, which currently accounts for three quarters of the council’s budget, while new pressures linked to the cost of living are seeing further demand for support and services from residents.

In line with Government funding expectations, Shropshire Council is proposing to increase council tax by 4.99%. This includes a 2% precept the Government had already assumed it will make to support adult social care. This is equivalent to £1.38 a week for the average household in Shropshire (the local average is band C).

The rate of council tax in Shropshire is already 6% below the average for unitary councils such as Shropshire.

The proposed increased in council tax would provide an extra £10m, while inflation alone is having a £43m impact on the council.

The consultation asks for views on the council’s budget’s overall direction, whether people  agree with this and any suggested alternatives.

The consultation is available on the council’s consultation pages here. 

Councillor Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, said:

“These proposals come at a very difficult time as people and businesses face ever rising costs. This represents a final chance to achieve a sustainable budget for the council while ensuring that vulnerable adults and children are protected as far as possible, and that other vital services such as waste collection, highways maintenance and flood defences and libraries can continue.

“At this stage we are seeking people’s views on the overall approach. Further consultations will be planned in due course on any specific proposals as these are developed, such as changes to car parking arrangements and how we do more to minimise household waste and potentially charging for green waste collections.”

Feedback from the consultation will inform the final budget proposals which will come back to the council in March.  

Those unable to go online can take part in the consultation by calling 0345 6789077. The consultation will remain open until 30 January 2023.