Council's pledge for a challenging year
Budget cuts strengthen Manchester's resolve to support its people and protect key services.
Manchester City Council has pledged to do everything it can to support residents and protect the services they expect, despite the huge cuts to the Council's budget announced by the Government.
The financial settlement for 2011/12 and 2012/13 was much worse than we expected, with Manchester among the top five hardest hit local authorities in the country. The cuts imposed on the city represent £100million over the next year.
During the past four years alone the Council has saved £56.9million by introducing more efficient ways of working - a saving that has helped to keep council tax down and allow investment in essential areas such as schools, environmental services and housing.
Councillor Bernard Priest, Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources, said: "Ahead of the general election, the Council had already made plans to save an additional £40million over the coming year. Following the Comprehensive Spending Review, we anticipated that another £30million-worth of savings would have to be identified. While this would be difficult, we believed we could protect frontline services through continuing to transform the way we work.
"However, the settlement from the Government imposed an additional £30million of cuts the Council could not have predicted. This will make it incredibly hard to maintain all services, but we are determined - along with our partner agencies - to provide the support Manchester residents need.
"Independent commentators such as The Times and Manchester Evening News have outlined how the cuts will hit more deprived areas of the country, such as Manchester, the hardest. But despite everything we will continue to invest in the things we think are crucial to the success of the city.
"Working with the private sector and other partner agencies, it's essential that we do all we can to promote economic growth. We believe Manchester has a strong economy with huge potential and our overarching focus is on attracting those jobs and ensuring Manchester people are well placed to benefit from them."
While the Council has much less money, it is recognised that many Manchester residents will also struggle over the coming months and years.
The Council has committed not to increase its element of the council tax for the second year running and is hopeful that the overall bill, including the costs of police and fire services, will be frozen for the financial year ahead, April 2011 to March 2012.
The Council's Helping Hands campaign, which highlights the range of support and advice to help people through difficult economic times, will continue. Visit www.manchester.gov.uk/helpinghands for more details.