‘Tight’ budget put to Sheffield public

John  Mothersole Chief Executive Sheffield City Council
John Mothersole Chief Executive Sheffield City Council
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Sheffield’s leaders have presented next year’s budget proposals to the public - warning there are major challenges to be faced.

About 250 people packed into Sheffield Town Hall last night to hear what measures are set to be taken in order to balance the city’s books in 2014-2015.

By 2015, the council will have had its funding from central government slashed by more than 50 per cent, meaning services which have previously been protected are now in the firing line for cuts.

Some £54 million of savings needs to be found this year.

The council’s chief executive, John Mothersole, said: “Until last year we have tried to protect some services like children’s services and adult social care. We can’t do that any more. We have had to go to places we really didn’t want to go. But we will still be there for those who need us as a council.”

Most council departments are set to have their budget cut by about 15 per cent.

“The budget is tight, it’s really, really tight.

“But the headline is we can balance this budget,” said Mr Mothersole.

The proposed budget is still out at consultation and the council will continue discussing its potential impact with communities in all areas of Sheffield.

A budget will be sent to the cabinet in February before it is rubber-stamped by full council in March.

Leader of the council, Julie Dore, said: “We are facing major challenges. With the scale of cuts that are being forced upon the city by the Government it’s becoming increasingly difficult to protect the services we value.

“There’s still a lot to do to shape the proposals. There’s time for people to comment on our approach and help inform our thinking. We want to let everyone in Sheffield respond to our ideas.

“There are some tough decisions to be made but we are committed to making the best decisions possible that are in the long-term interests of the city and the people in our city.”