Sheffield’s budget approved after ‘immense challenge’

Sheffield Council formally approved a balanced budget for the coming financial year, despite facing a funding gap of more than £60 million.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 9:11 am

The financial plan for 2021/22 was made against a backdrop of severe pressure from Covid-19 and a decade of austerity.

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Councillor Terry Fox, cabinet member for finance, said: “This is a budget for investing in our city and our communities and is shaped by our residents.

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Sheffield city centre.

“This has been done due to the prudent way and the real life decisions taken over the years by this Labour administration.

“The last 12 months have been some of the most challenging in Britain’s recent peacetime history.

“The Covid pandemic has dominated every aspect of people’s day to day life, caused huge disruption, economic turmoil and very sadly, many deaths and serious illnesses.

“Against this backdrop the council has had to maintain its critical services for the citizens of Sheffield.”

A pie chart of the budget.

Coun Bob Johnson, leader of the council, added: “At the start of this pandemic government told us it would fund whatever it takes, they have clearly not done this and we have gone through a really difficult process trying to meet significant budget gaps which at the same time as dealing with the pandemic has been immensely challenging.

“This is of course on top of the austerity over the past decade which has had such an impact on our public services.”

Plans include a council tax increase of 1.99 percent with an additional three percent precept for adult social care, which equates to around 15p per day for Band A properties.

Rents for council homes and garages will increase by 1.5 percent each and tenants will have to pay an extra 60p per week in community heating standing charge.

Coun Terry Fox.

An additional investment of £4.2 million in the care sector is aimed at improving staff pay and an extra £2 million will support youth services.

There is a total £191.7 million for capital projects. The biggest proportion of this will go on Heart of the City II (£62.9 million), followed by new homes (£50.3 million) and housing investment (£42.2 million).

Part of the plans include 300 redundancies across the council that equates to around 240 full-time equivalent jobs. Around 100 of these are to be replaced by apprenticeship roles.

Editor’s message

The budget meeting.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.