Nottingham City Council’s Executive Board has agreed on further service changes that are needed to achieve overall savings of £15.6m in next year’s budget.
The council included £13.4m of savings in its budget proposals in December – and has now identified the extra £2.2m needed to balance its 2020/21 budget.
Under the plans, money will be saved through “staffing efficiencies” in Children’s Services and Youth Services, cuts to the operating expenses of several community oragnisations, the introduction of a new chargeable mid-winter garden waste collection, a reduction in neighbourhood floral bedding, and the closure of super loos at Forest Park & Ride and Spondon Street.
All proposals are subject to consultation online and at a series of ongoing events, before being given final approval by the council in March.
The council has blamed the cuts on having its Government funding slashed by three-quarters over the past decade.
Cllr Webster said: “The Government is expecting us to increase Council Tax to pay for the cost of care services for elderly people – that’s why Council Tax is going up again. It’s not the right way to fund such vital services – we need proper policies and adequate funding from Government to address the national crisis we face in caring for people in their old age. The Government has so far failed to come up with a proper plan to fund care services across the country.
“The lack of adequate Government funding for local services means that we’re having to make savings of another £15.8m in this budget, but the Council Tax increase only brings in just above £4m.
“This scale of Government funding cuts has never happened before. In Nottingham we receive over £100m less per year than we did in 2013. Despite repeated promises from Government of a new plan to fund care services nothing has changed. The vast bulk of our funding is now spent on care services for vulnerable children and older people with care needs. These are vital services that thousands of our residents rely on every day.
“Councils up and down the country now have no choice but to raise council tax, increase charges and make further service reductions to try to close the funding gap. After nine years of ignoring this problem it is urgent that Government puts forward new money and a new policy to fund care for the elderly.”