Budget proposals

Posted on Friday 28th January 2022

Blackpool Council has today published budget saving proposals for 2022/23 with a pledge to protect and invest in local services.

It was initially expected that there would be a budget gap of £14m for the coming financial year. This now stands at £8.6m following the Local Government Settlement in December and a recalculation of budget assumptions.

In order to meet this deficit, all directorates will be required to make efficiency savings including the removal of vacant posts, renegotiation of external contracts and increased income generation.

However, Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of the Council, said that despite another year of budget pressures, there would be no cuts in delivery of any services across the local authority, but there would be additional investment in activities such as enforcement, CCTV, cleaning of streets and alleyways, and transportation for children with Special Educational Needs.

Other proposals include:

  • Increased fees and charges including the first car parking increase in five years
  • Increased income generation from contracts with external agencies
  • Increased dividend from Sandcastle Waterpark
  • Rationalisation of the council’s property portfolio

As a result of efforts made throughout the year, there will be no compulsory redundancies in relation to the 2022/23 budget. However, there could be up to 15 temporary contracts which will come to an expected end.

In addition, a small number of voluntary redundancy requests might be received and approved where this makes a saving and can be achieved without disruption to services. Employees will also be encouraged to take a minimum of five days unpaid leave

Cllr Williams added:

“This has been another incredibly difficult budget to set. The proposals we are publishing today come after months of detailed scrutiny into every aspect of our finances.

“We know the challenges that our residents and businesses are facing as we come out of the pandemic, and the last thing we want to do is to cut services that are so vitally needed.

“That is why we have set our stall out to protect services and to invest in those that are so important to people; tackling community issues such as cleaner streets and alleyways, and enhanced enforcement.

“At the same time, the regeneration of the town continues apace and its ever-improving tourism offer is putting Blackpool in a strong place to continue its post-COVID recovery and attract visitor numbers that will bolster the town’s economy.

“Every multi-million pound scheme that we see rising from the ground from new homes at Grange Park to the hotel and tram terminus at Talbot Gateway, and the opening of the new Conference and Exhibition Centre at the Winter Gardens is creating local job opportunities and a better life chances for our residents.

“Every penny that we spend is designed to help local people and we continue to actively work with public sector partners, the voluntary sector and the private sector to minimise the cumulative impact of years of central government cuts on those people who need and depend upon our services.”

The budget proposals will be discussed by the council’s executive  on Monday 7 February at 6.00pm

See full details of the general fundget budget proposals 2022/2023

Posted on Friday 28th January 2022

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