It remains a challenging time for Local Authorities as we continue to face significant funding constraints, whilst managing increases in demand for our services and other budgetary pressures such as inflation costs. This challenge means that we must continue to drive towards financial self-sustainability whilst also striving for new and efficient ways of delivering high quality services.
As a Council we cannot do this without the support of our residents; we have therefore created a series of questions in this following survey to gather your views and feelings.
This is your opportunity to influence how the Council spends its precious resources, shape what we do in the future and help us protect the services we all value.
Please take the opportunity to have your say by completing the survey, the link is in the Related Content section. The closing date is Sunday 7 January 2018.
Thank you in advance for taking part; your views are essential in the service we provide.
Councillor Terry Cutmore
Leader, Rochford District Council
1. The scale of the challenge
Between 2010 and 2017 Rochford District Council has delivered a range of efficiencies totalling circa £3.1m, which equates to a more than an 18% reduction to the 2010 base budget; whilst continuing to deliver the key services that you have told us that you value. An additional £0.7m of savings are planned to be achieved in the 2017/18 financial year.
Central government grants used to make up 41% of the funding for Rochford; however these will be zero by 2020. In addition the Council continues to face inflationary pressures as well as increasing demand for public services, which creates an expected difference between the level of funding available and the amount of money the Council needs to spend (called the budget gap), of around £0.8m by 2022/23.
The Council has made bold steps toward closing the funding gap, through transforming itself into a leaner, more efficient organisation. The remaining gap will need to be closed through further savings options, service choices and new income streams.
The table below sets out the major front line spend items, as budgeted in 2017/18:
|2017/18 Major front line spend items|
|Parks and open spaces||0.7|
|Planning Policy & Economic Development||0.4|
|Accomodation for the homeless||0.8|
With this in mind, we would like to hear your views about the services we provide and whether you have any ideas on further savings that could be made, or new income streams.