Medium Term Financial Strategy
Bexley’s Cabinet turns its attention to planning next year’s Council budget at its meeting on 9 July.
It will consider a report on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and a strategy on fees and charges for services.
The Council faces a budget gap estimated at £19m in 2020/21 and £38m over the four-year planning period to 2023/4.
The reasons for the gap are the increased cost of caring for vulnerable children and adults, changes to schools funding, the growing cost of homelessness and of supporting those with no recourse to other public funds.
There is considerable uncertainty over the Council’s financial planning because government decisions are awaited on the latest Comprehensive Spending Review, changes to council funding, business rates and funding for the care of the growing numbers of vulnerable older people.
“While the financial outlook is challenging, our attention is focused on continuing to use our resources to deliver our services in an efficient way and exploring opportunities to do things in new and better ways,” says Council Leader Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE. “We aim to make a positive difference to the lives of our residents by working as closely as we can with local people and organisations.”
“Managing our residents money well and delivering high quality services continues to be our number one priority,” adds Councillor David Leaf, the Cabinet Member for Resources. “We are continually looking to do things better and at less cost, just as people do with their own money. We will take the sensible and reasonable decisions we need to take to deliver on the things that matter to our residents, particularly to ensure that growth benefits local people.”
Balancing next year’s budget is likely to require significant savings on top of the £100m that the Council has saved since 2011. People will be consulted on those that will have an impact on them towards the end of the year.
The Cabinet is also being asked to approve a strategy on fees and charges. This sets out a clear, flexible and fair framework for applying charges and fees for some Council services.
You can watch the Cabinet’s budget discussion live from 7pm on Wednesday 9 July, or after the event.
The meeting will be held at the Civic Offices Bexleyheath and is open to the public.