Rossendale Borough Council

2017/18 Budget Consultation

From: 16/01/2017. To: 31/01/2017.

The Council is seeking views from any individual or organisation on its budget for 2017/18 and the financial challenges it faces over the medium term.

1 - The Council’s vision and corporate priorities are as follows:

Our Vision: By 2018 Rossendale will have strong communities with an enhanced environment and heritage. It will be an attractive place to live, where tourists visit and employers invest.

Our Priorities

·      Regenerating Rossendale: This priority focuses on regeneration in its broadest sense, so it means supporting communities that get on well together, attracting investment, promoting Rossendale, as well as working as an enabler to promote the physical regeneration of Rossendale.

·      Responsive Value for Money Services: This priority is about the Council working collaboratively, being a provider, procurer and a commissioner of services that are efficient and that meet the needs of local people.

·      Clean Green Rossendale: This priority focuses on clean streets and town centres and well managed open spaces, whilst that the Council has to work with communities and as a partner to deliver this ambition.

 

The Council has recently undertaken consultation on the above the results of which will help form and shape the Council’s revised Corporate Plan. Any Council or organisation when setting its budget should ensure that expenditure and resources support its corporate priorities.

 

2 - The level of Council Tax, fees and charges

Albeit Rossendale Borough Council issues Council Tax bills it only retains 15% of the revenue. The majority of Council Tax goes directly to Lancashire County Council. Rossendale Borough Council has not increased its share of council tax for 7 years.

Rossendale Borough Council has seen significant reductions in the funding it receives from central government. In order to ensure some certainty with regard to centrally funded resources Rossendale Borough Council agreed to accept the Governments four year funding agreement, part of which will see an end to the traditional Revenue Support Grant

The latest medium term financial forecast for this council can be seen in the November 2016 Cabinet papers (item E1):

http://www.rossendale.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/1004/cabinet

 

The forecast identifies a financial resources gap of £473,000, even after assuming a number of new revenue sources which may or may not be achieved.

Our current schedule of fees and charges, which the Council makes for the provision of various services, can be viewed at the February 2016 Council meeting (item E1- Appendix 2):

http://www.rossendale.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/875/council

 

Please note that some fees are dictated by statute or central government

 

Question:

1.    Should Rossendale Borough Council increase its share of council tax for 2017/18?

 

2.    If so, what % should the increase be?

 

3.    Should the council increase those fees and charges which are not set by other means?

 

4.    If so, what % should the increase be?

 

 

2 – The Council’s forecast funding gap

 

The Council has identified a future funding gap of £473,000. Depending on the final allocation of funding from Central Government, the Council will have to use its reserves to balance any funding gap or reduce its net expenditure.

Question

1.    What savings would you suggest to reduce the Council’s budgets next year and in the future in order to bridge the anticipated resources gap either by:

 

a.    reducing expenditure or

b.    increasing revenue?

 

Please note that Consultation will end on 31st January 2017. Please feel free to make any other comments which you feel are relevant to the Council’s budget, Council Tax setting and its forecast funding gap.

Please send your responses to:

 

By Post:

Philip Seddon

Head of Finance & Property Services

Rossendale Borough Council

The Business Centre (Room 211)

Futures Park

Bacup

Rossendale

OL13 0BB

 

Or email: budget@rossendale.gov.uk