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Protecting our communities and supporting recovery - Sheffield’s 2021/22 budget proposals
Consultation on our budget proposals for 2021/22 is open and we want to hear from as many local people as possible, tell us what you think by 19 January.
2020 has forced an unexpected and unplanned for level of essential citywide spending, brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. We have set out our proposals for Sheffield’s 2021/22 budget, focusing on protecting our communities and supporting recovery, detailing where we will allocate funding and how we will attempt to close the gap on more than £60million of overspend from this unprecedented year.
At the start of the pandemic, we made clear that our focus was keeping people safe and well, protecting our most vulnerable people, helping people to get back to school and work, and supporting our economic recovery.
It is estimated that the cost of this response has been around £92m, and this follows a decade of Government funding cuts to our budgets. In November 2020 the Government’s Spending Review provided councils with a one-off payment to deal with some of the financial impact that Covid has had this year, but this money was just a fraction of the spend incurred locally. Even with this one-off funding, Sheffield faces a budget gap of £61m in 2021/22, and real uncertainty about the Government’s plans for council funding beyond the next year.
Our budget proposals include an increase in Council Tax, in line with the Government’s Spending Review. This allows councils to increase Council Tax by up to 1.99% with an additional 3% precept to help cover adult social care costs – a total increase of 4.99%. This would mean most households will pay around £1.04 more per week, raise an extra £11m in revenue and help us to continue to respond to the pandemic while protecting Sheffield’s vital public services.
Our consultation also asks what people think about how we spend and collect money, including:
- revenue - which covers the day-to-day running costs of our services, such as schools, adult and children's social care services, planning and leisure
- capital - which pays for buildings, roads and housing and for major repairs to them
- fees and charges - which we collect for a number of different services such as social care, building control, parking, bereavement, hire of facilities, licensing, sport and leisure, libraries, waste services, planning and more
Councillor Terry Fox, Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Governance at Sheffield City Council, said:
“Covid-19 has placed unprecedented financial pressure on all services, the rising costs are extremely difficult to manage and without further support from Government the position is very challenging.
“Responding to the impact of Covid-19 has left us with a budget gap of more than £60million, a gap that we must now plan how to reduce. We've set out our budget proposals for the coming financial year, but we want the people of Sheffield to be involved in these decisions so that we can be confident their needs are represented.
"It's really important that we hear from people in all areas of the city, from all backgrounds, of all ages. We want to know what is important to you and whether you have other ideas on how we can continue providing essential services while moving the city forward.
“I want to reassure people that protecting the most vulnerable and supporting strong recovery and growth for the city remains our priority. We will always manage Sheffield’s financial position rigorously to make sure we are prepared, and we will continue to fight for fair allocation of funding from the Government.”
People can have their say and take part in the consultation online, by Tuesday 19 January.
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