Nottinghamshire residents are being asked to ‘think the unthinkable’ as the County Council launches its budget consultation.
The scale of the deepening funding crisis facing council services has been set out by the authority as it launches the toughest budget consultation in its history and everyone will be affected by cuts.
Government support is being cut by £55m, meaning the council must,in the nexxt three years, find an estimated £154m in savings to public services already depleted by austerity and spiralling demand for support and care services for vulnerable adults and children.
Back office costs have already been reduced by £17m in the last three years, with the council now spending more than 90 per cent of its budget on frontline service delivery.
For the next 19 weeks, residents and businesses will be asked for their views on the council’s financial plight and which services they would be prepared to see reduced or sacrificed all together.
Phase one, which is underway now, will ask people what services they think can be reduced, while phase two will ask for people’s views on the council’s strategic four-year financial plan, the priorities of which will be announced on November 11,
Council leader Alan Rhodes, (right), said: “I wish we were launching a budget consultation which was all about improving care for our elderly, creating new opportunities for our young people, fixing our worn-out roads and investing in the local economy to create jobs and drive up living standards.
“Sadly, that is a long way from being the case and instead we are asking the people of Nottinghamshire to think the unthinkable.”
The council’s income is made up of £217m in Council Tax, £238m in a goverment grant and £78m in other grants and reserves.
A service like caring for vulnerable adults and the elderly is £217m per year, care and support for young people is £171m, road maintainence and waste disposal costs £92m, public health is £35m and providing 92,658 street lights is £6.6m.
To run a larger library costs, on average, £4,726, while providing care for one vulnerable child is £900 and providing home care for one person is £640, while repairing a pot hole is £55 per square metre.
“The budget deficit of £154m in the next three years, is nearly a quarter of the money we need to maintain services at current levels,” continued Coun Rhodes.
“Being forced by Government to take this amount of money out means it is likely that none of the 500 services we provide to nearly 800,000 people will be immune from reductions, with some potentially stopping all together.”
Throughout the Budget Challenge, people will be get the latest information and register their views at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget