Calderdale Council is facing the prospect of having to make savings of £11 million in the upcoming financial year, as indicated in a forecast set to be reviewed during the next Cabinet meeting in November.
The Medium Term Financial Plan, subject to annual updates, serves as the initial framework for determining the Council’s budget for 2024-2025. This budget will receive final approval at the Budget Council meeting scheduled for 26th February 2024.
This plan outlines the anticipated resources that may be available to address the Council’s priorities over the next three fiscal years.
The Council is anticipating the need for savings of £11 million, £15 million, and £14.5 million in the financial years leading up to 2026/27. These projections come after the Council has already achieved savings of £120 million by 2023/24 compared to its 2010 budget.
For the current financial year, the Council is estimating a potential overspend of £6.6 million. However, concerted efforts are being made to mitigate this overspend. This includes utilizing some reserves, to achieve a balanced budget by year-end.
As in previous years, there exists a degree of uncertainty regarding the financial outlook. This uncertainty stems from factors such as ongoing inflation, the escalating cost of living, heightened demand for public services, and the absence of long-term funding allocations from the Government.
Given these circumstances, most local authorities are already grappling with substantial funding shortfalls, putting a strain on their financial resilience.
This uncertainty underscores the imperative for the Council to embark on its budgeting process, to establish a financially sustainable position over the next three years. It is a legal requirement for the Council to enact a balanced budget on an annual basis.
The Council’s financial standing may change in the coming months, prompting necessary adjustments to the budget proposals.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of Calderdale Council said; “The Medium Term Financial Plan provides us with an indication of the financial position of the Council in the coming years but there is still much that can change.
“It’s based on what we know today, however, there are many things, including the amount of money which we receive from the Government, which will influence our budget proposals.
“Our priority is to make sure that the budget over the next three years is sustainable so that we can be confident that we can continue to deliver vital public services to all our communities.”
The upcoming key milestones include the Chancellor’s budget announcement on 22nd November 2023, and the Local Government Finance Settlement in December 2023, which delineates specific grants for each local authority based on Government funding levels.
The proposed Medium Term Financial Plan will be deliberated upon during Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday, 13th November 2023, at Halifax Town Hall, commencing at 3pm. The proceedings will also be accessible via live stream at https://calderdale.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.