8am this morning, draft budget proposals went live on the City Council's website. I was tempted to try and give headlines in this post but even a shortened version of the proposals would run to several pages.
There are sixteen reports altogether running to several hundred pages so perhaps simpler to direct you to the Council's website where the full suite of reports can be found http://www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations if you want to take part in the consultation.
I will tell you that the figures prepared by the City Treasurer indicate that we will have to make cuts in the order of £40m next year rising to £80m the year after (the £80m consists of just over £50m in government cuts, the rest being provision for inflation, demographic changes, increases in Waste and Transport levies etc, unavoidable expenditure on things that in the past government would have allowed for in their grant calculation but not any more). I will also say that, coming on top of the £170m of cuts we have had to make over the last two years, this is an incredibly difficult budget to put together. Two years ago we said that we would not be able to make this order of cut without fundamental changes to how we work, and how we and our partners work together. We have spent the intervening time exploring and evaluating new delivery models and the most radical proposals announced today reflect that work in trialling new ways of working.
The Council's Executive will meet on February 13th to decide the budget recommendations it will make to the Budget Council on March 8th, so there are a couple of weeks to respond to the proposals. For those with questions, as well as using the blog I will be doing a Twitter Q & A this Friday afternoon between 4 and 5pm.