The Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver has published his final budget proposals for service change, income generation and efficiencies in 2019/20. Following the public consultation and recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee a number of proposals in the Elected Mayor’s draft budget publication have been changed as follows;
Recommendations have been made to:
- Fund the reactive maintenance linked to the routine inspections of playgrounds at existing levels,
- Keep the registration service in its current locations,
- Maintain the capacity of the Senior Leadership Team at existing levels.
Recommendations have been made to delay the implementation of the following savings for six months:
- Illuminations – to allow time to raise sponsorship or finding different ways of funding illuminations in Torbay,
- Contract savings in Natural Environment – to explore if alternative arrangements can be found with local communities and communicate clearly as to exact impact of the reductions,
- Reduction of grant to the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust – to enable market testing of the works and further negotiations with the Trust.
Recommendations have been made to amend the following:
- Highways – Increase the reduction in this budget and offset it with the current year’s underspend.
Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I’ve fully considered the feedback and made changes to my final proposals. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to give their views – it is appreciated.
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the required savings with ongoing central Government reductions in local government grants and increasing demands on our services. We’ve already made £76 million of savings and efficiencies over the last seven years to achieve balanced budgets. We now need to make £17 million pounds worth of savings by 2022 and £7.5 million will come out of the 2019/20 budget. We have to protect services that we need to deliver by law to the most vulnerable people in Torbay and unfortunately this requires finding efficiencies in other areas. I have tried to ensure the proposals have the least impact on residents as possible, but as funding reduces we are inviting local communities to help find solutions on how to deliver some of the services we currently provide.”
Council will consider the Elected Mayor’s budget proposals on 7 February 2019. If there are any objections then a decision will be deferred to the 21 February Council meeting when the final budget will be set along with the council tax.
The budget proposals and the Elected Mayor’s response to the budget consultation can be found at www.torbay.gov.uk/budget-201920