Budget: Have your say on how Sheffield Council spends your money ahead of council tax hike

Sheffield Council has started consultation on the 2022/23 budget as the financial impact of Covid has left it facing a funding gap of £98 million.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 17th December 2021, 1:43 pm
Updated Friday, 17th December 2021, 4:05 pm

The council continues to be in a significantly challenging financial position this coming year following enormous demands placed on services during the coronavirus pandemic and more than a decade of Government cuts but it said it remains ‘ambitious’ for the future.

Councillor Cate McDonald, executive member for finance and resources, said: “Since the pandemic began we have faced challenges like we have never seen before and it’s not over because we are now dealing with the financial consequences all the while still meeting the ongoing needs of our residents.

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Sheffield Council is struggling to balance its budget this year as the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and more than a decade of government cuts takes its toll. Part of its plans include increasing council tax again.

“While we are met with one of the toughest budget gaps in recent years, due to Government cuts and the pressures of Covid, we as a council have managed our finances prudently and will ensure we balance the budget, continue to provide much needed services to residents and put Sheffield first.

“Over the past decade we have faced cuts to our budget, and since 2010/11, Sheffield has had its spending power reduced by £215m (31 per cent) – the equivalent of £383 for every Sheffield resident. This is above average for the rest of England.

“As a result, hard-working people continue to shoulder this shortfall of funding. The situation is not sustainable and we need the Government to provide the relevant funding to help Sheffield recover.

Sheffield Council is struggling to balance its budget this year as the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and more than a decade of government cuts takes its toll. Part of its plans include increasing council tax again.

“We are prioritising the vulnerable and remain ambitious for the city and the aims of our One Year Plan but acknowledge that some difficult choices will have to be made.

"We want local people to tell us what they think through the consultation and help us shape these decisions.”

What is Sheffield Council’s current financial position?

In a recent council report, officers said the authority’s finances were ‘spiralling out of control’ and it may not be able to set a legal budget by the start of the new financial year.

In total before savings are made, the local authority faces a budget gap of £98 million.

How will Sheffield Council balance the budget and will council tax increase?

The council declared £35.7 million in savings, leaving a remaining budget gap of £62.3 million.

The authority is still working to find more savings and income to balance its books in addition to staff cuts through voluntary early retirement and voluntary severance.

Plans also include increasing council tax by 1.99 per cent with an additional one per cent adult social care precept, so a total rise of 2.99 per cent, which is expected to raise an extra £6.711 million.

What support will Sheffield Council get to balance its budget?

The Government said there will be no extra funding given to local authorities to tackle the ongoing impact of Covid.

Instead, local authorities are expected a share of £1.6 billion funding.

Sheffield does not yet know how much of this it will get but it is expecting to receive £15 million, which the council said will not be enough to close the budget gap.