Manchester City Council

2015-16 budget approved

Manchester City Council approved the budget for 2015/16 at its full meeting on Friday 6 March.

Council Tax will be frozen at its current level.  This will be the fifth year out of six since 2009/10 that the City Council element of the bill has not gone up on the previous year's figure (the exception being 2013/14, when it did increase).

Budget options originally published in November last year were updated at the beginning of January following the council’s receipt of an £11m interim dividend from its holding in Manchester Airport.

They have also been shaped through public consultation. For summaries of responses to the main budget consultation, separate consultations around individual proposals, and how these fed into final decisions, please visit www.manchester.gov.uk/budget.

The Council originally faced a funding shortfall of £59 million for the coming financial year – on top of the £250m of cuts it had to make 2011-15.

Use of the interim dividend has meant that in cases where the Council was looking at a range of potential cuts, it has generally been able to opt for the smaller funding reduction.

It has also enabled the Council to approve £5.4 extra investment in services for the most vulnerable people and to help keep the city clean. The largest part of this is an extra £3.5m for the Children and Families directorate to help support the most vulnerable people, in some cases reducing the need for more expensive services further down the line.

Recent funding settlements have seen Manchester among the hardest hit places in the country, with the council’s spending power down almost 10 per cent in the latest round. Manchester has seen its funding per home cut by £247.78 from 2014-16 – the highest figure in Greater Manchester – compared with as little as £12.89 per dwelling in the South East.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "This budget, like other recent budgets, has been an exercise is making the best of a bad situation. We have had to make some difficult decisions but are striving to balance investing in the future and supporting the most vulnerable in our city with making the spending reductions which have been forced upon us.

"If Manchester had received fair funding we wouldn’t be in this position and we will continue to push for a more equitable settlement."

Councillor John Flanagan, Executive Member for Finance, said: "A lot of hard work has gone into this budget and I would like to thank everyone in the city who took the time to respond to the main budget consultation and the consultations on specific proposals. We have listened carefully and many of the changes from the original proposals directly reflect the views we heard."

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