Annual budget consultation - Setting our priorities for 2021 – 2022

Start date: 22 October 2020

Closing date: 31 December 2020

Areas Affected

  • Lichfield District wide

We would like your views on how we meet our priorities and shape our budget for the next financial year. By taking part in this consultation you are helping us better understand the areas that our residents, businesses, community groups and partners see as priorities and want us to focus on.

The consultation will run until 31 December 2020. The final budget decision for our next financial year (2021 – 2022) will be made at a meeting of the full council in February 2021.

Consultation survey

If you would like the questionnaire in large print or an alternative format, please call 01543 308000.

We are at the beginning of the delivery of our current strategic plan which set out what we want to achieve for our community between 2020 and 2024. The plan helps us to focus on what is important locally and to focus our resources where they will have the most impact. Our strategic plan sets out that we will work collaboratively to:

Enable people to:

  • help themselves and others
  • collaborate and engage with us
  • live healthy and active lives

Shape place to:

  • keep it clean, green and safe
  • preserve the characteristics
  • make sure sustainability and infrastructure needs are balanced

Develop prosperity to:

  • encourage economic growth
  • enhance the district for all
  • invest in the future

Be a good council that is:

  • financially sound
  • transparent and accountable
  • responsive and customer focussed

The information you provide through this consultation will be used to inform discussions and decisions on our spending priorities over the next year and beyond. The final budget decision for our next financial year (2021-2022) will be made at a meeting of the full council in February 2021.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on local council finances which will continue through the current period of lockdown and beyond. The financial impact will be due to both unforeseen, but necessary, expenditure and reduced income from fees and charges, council tax and business rates.

We will report back to our local community on this consultation through our website and our other communication channels throughout the year about how we are delivering against our strategic plan and the priorities identified. We will also be publicising more on how you can get involved in ongoing consultation and engagement activity around the work of the council and our partners.

Overview

Before completing the questionnaire, please read through the following information. It will provide you with an overview of our budgets and spending and help you to complete the questionnaire.

How we fund local services

This year (2020/21) we will spend around £11million (£10,991,000) on local services. We will receive over £7milion (£7,029,000) in council tax to help fund this. We will fund the balance (£3,962,000) through business rates, other grants, surpluses and New Homes Bonus.

The government has been reducing the amount of core government grant we receive every year, and next year we could be required to pay an amount to the Government (although this will be subject to the spending review). This means we will face significant and ongoing challenges providing the same level of services, and either need to make further savings or generate additional income to fund the services we deliver.

The table below shows how council services (after fees and charges) were funded in 2010/11 and how they are funded in 2020/21 to illustrate the changes:

2010/11

 

2020/2021

 

Core Government Grant

£6,099,950

Retained business rates

£3,105,000

Council tax

£5,323,570

Surplus on the collection of council tax and business rates from previous year

£208,000

   

Council tax

£7,029,000

   

New Homes Bonus Grant

£600,000

   

Other grants

£49,000

       

TOTAL

£11,423,520

 

£10,991,000

Our income equals spend in 2020/21 however in 2021/22 we currently have a projected deficit of £982,000 (this could reduce if we are not required to pay money to the Government following the Spending Review).

The level of savings we have made between 2015/16 and 2019/20 are shown below:

 

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2015/16

£676,470

£676,470

£676,470

£676,470

£676,470

2016/17

 

£461,750

£461,750

£461,750

£461,750

2017/18

   

£408,050

£408,050

£408,050

2018/19

     

£96,750

£96,750

2019/20

       

£552,360

Ongoing savings identified in this year

£676,470

£1,138,220

£1,546,270

£1,643,020

£2,195,380

However we need to find more savings and generate more income, as further cuts to our funding streams are likely. We will ask you to give your views on savings and income ideas in this questionnaire.  Your responses will help in setting budgets for 2021/22 and beyond.

About your council tax

We only keep 10% of the council tax you pay (that’s about £180 a year for an average local home). We pass the rest to Staffordshire County Council, the Staffordshire Commissioner - Police & Crime, Staffordshire Commissioner - Fire & Rescue and local parish councils (as shown below):

Staffordshire County Council

£1,295.95

71%

Staffordshire Commissioner - Police and Crime

£225.09

12%

Lichfield District Council

£180.07

10%

Staffordshire Commissioner – Fire and Rescue

£77.24

4%

Average Parish Council

£51.58

3%

Our element of your council tax is used to fund the following key priorities (figures enclosed in brackets represent income):

 

What we will spend this year 2020/2021

The element funded by council tax

What this costs an average Band D home

Developing prosperity

 

 

 

Planning applications, car parks and economic growth

£473,820

£303,019

£7.76

The Lichfield Garrick

£523,440

£334,752

£8.58

Council owned property

(£788,280)

(£504,123)

(£12.91)

Waste collection from businesses

£23,050

£14,741

£0.38

Enabling people

 

 

 

Sports and leisure

£1,368,430

£875,143

£22.42

Homelessness and environmental health

£2,161,860

£1,382,560

£35.42

Shaping place

 

 

 

Administration of housing benefit

£363,120

£232,224

£5.95

Waste Collection from homes

£2,543,980

£1,626,934

£41.68

Parks and open spaces

£1,373,310

£878,264

£22.50

Street cleansing and public toilets

£836,650

£535,057

£13.71

Planning policy, conservation and countryside protection

£649,920

£415,639

£10.65

Private sector housing

£464,610

£297,129

£7.61

A good council

 

 

 

Running the council and council services efficiently

£3,325,090

£2,126,472

£54.48

Capital, interest and reserves

(£2,328,000)

(£1,488,810)

(£38.14)

Total

£10,991,000

£7,029,000

£180.07

We are among the lowest charging district councils in the country, so the services we provide are good value, when compared to many district councils nationwide. An average home in our district pays £180 a year for the services we provide, whereas the borough council with the highest charges collects £369 a year for similar services, (the table below shows compares council tax charged by district councils nationwide):

 

Highest nationwide

Lowest nationwide

Lichfield

2018 – 2019

£352

£85

£170

2019 – 2020

£362

£90

£175

2020 – 2021

£369

£95

£180

In order to meet our funding gap next year, we will consider increasing the amount of council tax we charge for our element of you bill. The government allows us to increase its share of the council tax for an average home by a maximum of £5 per year or 2% - whichever is the larger amount. A £5 increase is projected to provide an additional £199,000 of income which is near to the cost of say running sports and leisure.

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the questionnaire email the finance team