Chiefs call for more ‘long term’ council budget

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Leaders of Sheffield Council have asked the Government if they could manage the authority’s budget on a more long-term basis.

Currently, the council learns what funding it is to receive – and more recently what cuts will be made – toward the end of the year and staff must rush to set a balanced budget by March for the year ahead.

Leaders from the country’s Core Cities group want ministers to consider a ‘multi-year budget’, so they could focus on longer term planning and investment.

Coun Leigh Bramall, deputy leader of Sheffield Council, raised the idea with Communities Secretary Greg Clark when he visited the city to discuss devolution deals.

He said: “We would like something like a multi-year budget where we can plan over a three to four-year period.

“That would make it easier for us to invest in the long term – it’s how a lot of business and the wider Government operate and it makes a lot of sense.

“We could invest in different ways of running services where we have to put some money up front before we can see the benefit of it.

“This is formally one of our asks from the core cities group and Mr Clark saihe would look at it – he understood the reasoning for that.

“It’s important that, if Government is serious about councils being able to operate more effectively, that we have the resources to be able to do that.”