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Update reveals growing funding gap

Financial pressures could push up the budget gap, says a new report

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Tough times are set to continue, says Leicestershire County Council as it publishes a budget update.

A new report shows that a further year of austerity and rising demand could push up the council’s budget gap to £40m by 2021/22.

The financial position is compounded by Leicestershire being the lowest funded county in the country. 

 

The £40m gap is on top of the £204m of savings the council is set to have achieved by 2021.

With pressures intensifying, a crisis of funding is looming, meaning it’s very unlikely we’ll be able identify enough savings to bridge the budget gap in four years’ time. 

Balancing the books will require a major efficiency initiative, and the government to determine fair funding sooner rather than later. 

That’s why it’s so important residents get behind us in calling for funding reform. Taking just a few minutes to send us your views could make a big difference to the council services of the future.

 

The fair funding questionnaire is still open and takes just a few minutes to fill in. All comments will be sent to the government.

The report will be discussed by the council’s scrutiny commission next Wednesday (7 Sep), and by the council’s cabinet next Friday (15 Sep).

The meetings will be webcast.

Budget pressures identified in the report include:

  • Rising demand in children’s social care - a 36 per cent increase in children in care since 2012, plus the cost of residential care, requires growth of £5m 
  • Ash dieback – expected to cost around £5m to deal with danger from fallen trees
  • Public sector pay cap – each one per cent rise equates to £1.5m
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