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Setting a sustainable budget that delivers for Sheffield - Council to discuss proposals

Town Hall stands under a blue sky

Councillors will meet to discuss proposals for how the Council will set a balanced budget for 2024/2025 while continuing to deliver priority services.

The Strategy and Resources Committee will meet on February 21st to discuss proposals for the budget and how, despite a financial backdrop that continues to prove difficult, the Council will deliver on its priorities. The final decision on approving the budget will be made at Full Council Budget Committee on 6th March.

The proposals put forward, if approved, would see the Council maintain critical services for the citizens of Sheffield and strive to deliver the priorities set out in the draft Council Plan.

The draft Council Plan is also due to be discussed at Strategy & Resources Committee on the 21st February before going to Full Council for final approval. 

Councils up and down the country find themselves in more challenging financial positions than ever. This is why it is so important we have continued our policy of prudent financial planning and will not steer away from a medium term approach, taking decisive action where needed.

The Council is required by statute to set a balanced budget. Budget savings, service efficiencies and increased income will have to be delivered during 2024/25 and beyond in order to achieve that balanced budget.

Yet service delivery challenges may mean further reserves are needed to balance the 2024/25 financial position.

Sheffield continues to see greater demands on health and social care services, as well as housing, as contract inflation and the increasing demand for services continue to outstrip available resources such as additional funding available from Government or local taxation.

Our reserves remain adequate. However, an in-year overspend of £17.4m has put greater importance on us achieving our savings targets. To that effect, £7.5m of savings schemes have been highlighted to balance this budget. The proposals are bold and, if approved, we would have to make changes to the way we spend money to ensure we are able to create a sustainable budget that can continue to deliver for the people of Sheffield.

That would also include investing in our future – which we cannot do alone. We will be working in partnership with local industry and partners such as the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) to create the growth we need to bring jobs, economic boost, opportunities and more major events such as the recent MOBO Awards to our city.

The budget plans also include an increase in Council Tax and the rent paid by Council housing tenants to help close the gap and continue to deliver much-needed services.

Cllr Zahira Naz, Chair of the Finance Committee, said:

“I’d like to state my thanks for the hard work put in by every Council member and employee who has come together to bring forward this proposed budget. Despite the many challenges facing our financial outlook for this coming year, the proposed balanced budget aims to provide services the people of Sheffield rely upon.

“We want to continue to maintain critical services – looking after the elderly, safeguarding vulnerable children, maintaining the city’s streets and providing services such as waste collection, parks and environmental health. We remain committed despite these challenges to putting residents at the heart of those services we are providing.

“We continue the spending patterns of previous years, and everyone at the Council continues to take the necessary steps to reduce budgets and find much-needed savings.

“We know that we cannot do this all by ourselves. We need financial support, and will continue to lobby Central Government for that – as we always do for the people of this great city.”