Nottingham City Council agrees council tax rise in budget to help save £28 million

Nottingham City Council has formally approved its 2022-23 budget by making savings to close a starting budget gap of £28m and a four-year plan to set the organisation on a stable financial course for the future.

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 12:59 pm

At a meeting of the full council on March 7, the Labour-led authority agreed a range of proposals for the forthcoming financial year starting in April.

These included the closure of some children’s centres – with Bulwell in danger of being one of those axed, introducing an administration charge for second and third resident parking permits, and bulky-waste collections and a staffing reduction in play and youth services.

Feedback during a wide-ranging public consultation resulted in councillors making changes, which were ratified at the meeting.

Nottingham City Council has agreed it's budget for 2022-23 as it tries to save £28 million

These amendments mean that the main city centre public toilets on Greyhound Street will remain free of charge, one additional children’s centre will remain open and more youth and play service staff will be retained.

A number of Council service areas will see more investment, including an estimated £46 million additional funding, over four years, in care services for Nottingham’s elderly residents and most vulnerable children, a £230 million investment in council housing to improve existing properties, build hundreds of new council houses, and make hard-to-heat homes more sustainable and energy-efficient.

Councillors agreed to protect spending on many key services, such as street cleansing, community protection, parks and open spaces and homelessness support.

The budget will involve a workforce reduction of the equivalent of 63 full-time posts – 27 of which are currently vacant.

It will also see a 1.99 per cent basic council tax increase plus a further one per cent for the Government’s social care precept towards the rising demand for adult care services.

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Councillors also endorsed a balanced four-year medium-term financial plan to 2025-26, which is key to delivering the city’s Together for Nottingham improvement programme passed by full council in January.

Coun Sam Webster (Lab), portfolio holder for finance and resources, said: “We’ve had to make more than £300 million of budget savings since 2010, but this was the toughest year yet requiring incredibly difficult decisions about services that we know are valued by local people.

“We made some changes to the proposals after listening to feedback through the public consultation and have done all we can to soften the impact on service users.

“Unfortunately, like many councils across the country, we have faced extremely challenging circumstances due to a decade of unprecedented reductions in Government funding and the growing demand for some key council services, especially care services for older people.

“The amount of funding from Government for public services in Nottingham is a fraction of what it was a decade ago, so unfortunately, like the vast majority of councils, we have no alternative but to increase council tax once again.

“The unfairness of Government policy on Nottingham is what’s most shocking.

"While they have taken away £320 of funding per dwelling in Nottingham, the average across the country was a £47 cut.

"If the Government is serious about ‘levelling up’ it cannot continue to under-invest in local public services and hammer households with never-ending council tax increases.”