Who are we consulting and why?
We are asking for your views about the budget for the next financial year, 2021 to 2022, which we are currently drawing up. By law, we must balance our budget and so every year we publicly set out our spending plans.
For the current financial year (2020 to 2021), we set a net budget of £118m, which included investments to improve people’s lives, such as, tackling the Climate Emergency and improving school buildings. We also put £4m into our reserves.
COVID-19 then hit our finances hard, with our income from parking and the Roman Baths shrinking overnight - at one stage, we were losing more than £91,000 a day in heritage and parking income that we needed to run our services. We also needed to spend more on PPE and protecting our vulnerable residents.
However, we acted quickly and brought our finances back on track. For more information on how we did this, read our COVID-19 2020-2021 financial recovery cabinet report
What are we consulting on?
Our challenge for the 2021 to 2022 budget
The financial challenge we face is far from over as we now draw up our spending plans for next year. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a big impact on our income and we cannot rely on further government support. We also face pressures from rising demand for adults and children’s service pressures as well as inflationary pressures.
Our Medium Term Financial Strategy identifies a 2021 to 2022 budget gap of £11.61m, so we must think differently and also make some hard choices about how we prioritise our spending.
Read our budget-setting report for further details.
For our budget to balance for next year, we need to make savings - we’re reducing our management spend and saving on borrowing costs. We are also making room for investing to improve people’s lives and deliver our priorities. This includes the following:
- Liveable neighbourhoods to create better, greener spaces and fairer access for all
- Investing in high streets to support retail
- Tackling the climate and ecological including a new renewable energy investment fund
- Protecting adults and children’s services
- Tackling inequalities
How to take part
Follow us on social media or sign-up to our weekly e-newsletter to keep up to date with our news.
What happens next?
We will now be drawing up our detailed budget proposals setting out our detailed spending plans for the year ahead. The timetable is as follows:
- The proposals will be scrutinised by councillors at Policy Development and Scrutiny Panels
- The proposals will be considered by Cabinet in February 2021
- Our Budget and Council Tax meeting (where final decisions are made) will be on 23 February 2021