Council Budget Aligns to Vision and Support for Residents

Posted by: Caroline Smith on 25 January 2023 08:46

South Tyneside Council is proposing a balanced budget with money targeted at making South Tyneside a place where people live happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

The Council needs to save £3.7m in 2023/24 bringing the total amount saved to £190m since 2010.

The Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) includes proposed investment in key areas to help tackle some of the most fundamental challenges in society, supporting residents through the cost-of-living crisis and opening access to a range of support schemes, especially in disadvantaged areas.

Money has been redirected to addressing residents' concerns on the ground including improved action on weeds and a team of Community Engagement Officers who will work with residents on issues ranging from waste and recycling to crime prevention.

The Council will also continue to invest in the borough's capital programme including roads, footpaths, accessible playground equipment, housing stock, environmental and renewable energy schemes, adult and children's social care accommodation and the regeneration of all three towns.

Cllr Joanne Bell, Lead Member for Governance, Finance and Corporate Services said: "This year our budget has been prepared using evidence, insights, and feedback from thousands of people right across the borough. Its content aligns with the Borough's 20-year Vision and its five ambitions.

"As a Council, setting a balanced budget is one of the most difficult but important responsibilities we have.

"We've protected frontline services and targeted investment on things that deliver for the people of South Tyneside. Our capital programme will see continued investment in regeneration and town centre schemes as well as core infrastructure to keep the borough connected.

"We have increased dependency upon external funding so will be doing everything we can to bring money to South Tyneside, following on from our successes securing millions from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, Arts Council priority funding and support for our renewable energy schemes."

This year, the proposed budget includes an increase in Council Tax of 4.95 per cent. 2 per cent of this increase relates to the Government's adult social care levy, which is ringfenced for those services supporting communities who need it most. The adult social care levy contributes towards the funding gap within Adult Social Care services. Adult and children's social care continue to be our biggest areas of spend and account for over 70 per cent of our discretionary budget.

Cllr Bell added: "We know that the current cost of living crisis is creating intense pressures, and we will continue to support residents wherever we can. We have enhanced our welfare support provision and currently support 18,400 households through our council tax support scheme. In addition, we have proposed an additional £100 Council Tax rebate for households on low income."

The Council's core Central Government funding has reduced by 52% since 2010. Just like everyone else the council is experiencing increasing costs and demand. The council cannot run a deficit like other organisations. If its does not increase the amount of money coming into the Council, it would simply have to stop providing services which communities across the borough depend on.

The council tax increase equates to around £1.11 per week for Band A households, into which the majority of households fall.

The bill issued by the Council also includes separate amounts levied by other statutory bodies such as police and fire. A more appropriate name would be a borough tax, rather than a council tax, as the money goes to support a range of public services, not just the council.

This year's budget proposals will be put forward to South Tyneside Council's Cabinet on 1 February and ultimately Borough Council for consideration on 23 February 2023.



Last modified: 25 January 2023 08:48