Borough of Poole has announced that it has to make additional savings of £12 million over a three year period from April 2017.
The news comes after last month’s Local Government Financial Settlement revealed that central government revenue funding for local services in Poole will reduce from £15 million each year to zero by 2019. This reduction is the equivalent of £230 a year for every household in Poole.
It was previously anticipated that this reduction would happen by 2021 so the new time frame will be much more challenging.
The Financial Settlement also stated that central government will require the Council to pay it a further £1.4 million from the business rates it collects. This will, in effect, reduce the amount of business rates (currently 25p in the £) the Council is currently allowed to keep.
This means that in order to pay for local services, the Council will rely on the money it raises locally through Council Tax, its share of business rates and other sources of income such as fees and charges. However, this may be supplemented by small grants from government for specific purposes.
The council has already delivered nearly £60 million savings in Poole over the past five years following the unprecedented cuts in core government funding of around 56%.
Councillor Janet Walton, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: “We are committed to delivering the Council’s priorities for Poole despite the extraordinary challenges presented by the £15 million reductions in government funding for local services. At the same time the Council must respond to increasing demand for services particularly from the most vulnerable in our community and focus hard on those who have the greatest needs.”
Andrew Flockhart, Chief Executive, Borough of Poole, said “The challenge of delivering the Council’s priorities and making savings on this scale cannot be underestimated. We must think radically about changing the way the Council works across all services and with our partners.”
Members will now consider the proposals and recommendations for the Medium Term Financial Plan, including the budget for 2016/17, at the Cabinet Meeting on 9 February and the Council Meeting on 23 February.