2016/17 Budget Consultation

Published December 9, 2015 at 14:55

The Council is seeking views from any individual or organisation on its budget for 2016/17 and the financial challenges it faces over the medium term.

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 recognising that the Council has to work with communities and as a partner to deliver this ambition.

Please note that the primary focus of the Council’s budget setting is to support its corporate priorities.

Question 1

Do you think the above reflects the vision and priorities for Rossendale or should we be considering other priorities and a different vision for the future? 

The level of Council Tax, fees and charges

Albeit Rossendale Borough Council issues Council Tax bills it only retains 16% 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 6 years.

Rossendale Borough Council has seen significant reductions in the funding it receives from central government. The Chancellor’s November 2015 Autumn Statement has highlighted further reductions for local government.

The latest medium term financial forecast for this council can be seen in the October 2015 Cabinet papers (item D1).

The forecast identifies a financial resources gap of £678,000, 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 2015 Council meeting (item E1- Appendix 2).

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

Question 2

  1. Should Rossendale Borough Council increase its share of council tax for 2016/17?
  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?

The Council’s annual net revenue expenditure

The Council set a net revenue budget for 2015/16 of £8,901,100. Based on a number of assumptions, this is currently forecast to increase to £9,048,000 for 2016/17 (October 2015 Cabinet). Depending on the final allocation of funding from Central Government, the Council may have to use its reserves to balance any funding gap or reduce its net expenditure.

Question 3

  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:
  2. reducing expenditure or
  3. increasing revenue?

Please note that Consultation will end on 31st January 2016. Please feel free to make any other comments which you feel are relevant to the Council’s budget and Council Tax setting.

Please send your responses by email: budget@rossendale.gov.uk

or by post to:

Philip Seddon, Head of Finance & Property Services, Rossendale Borough Council, The Business Centre (Room 211), Futures Park, Bacup, Rossendale, OL13 0BB

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