Manchester City Council

Happy New Year?

Welcome to the first post of 2017 and yes, Happy New Year!. The first working day back started with an 8am Executive Members group budget meeting, making the final adjustments to our draft budget, the papers for which will be published later this afternoon. I covered the very disappointing provisional financial settlement from national government two posts ago so won't repeat that here. Today is how we plan to make the best we can of the poor hand we have been dealt.

I'm guessing the proposed 4.99% Council Tax increase will attract a lot of attention, and Council Tax payers will rightly ask what they are getting for their money. I have explained previously that most of the Council's spend goes on a relatively small number of adults and children with very high levels of need. A very clear illustration of that is that although Council Tax raises roughly £130million a year, we spend £157million on adult social care alone. The total of Council Tax doesn't even cover the cost of adult care, nevermind looked after children, children at risk, children in need or any of the universal services. 

When we started consulting on a three year budget we were looking at cuts of between £40-£75million cuts by the third year. Largely as a result of how we can manage the costs of our capital and more significantly increased income from Airport dividend, certainly no thanks to national government, we have been able to get that gap down to around £30m and we will still be able to offer something to every Council Tax payer. Perhaps the most eyecatching of those is on roads and pavements where we are proposing to invest £100million over the next seven years with the aim of bringing all our roads and pavements up to a decent standard and keeping them that way.

There are 4 responses to “Happy New Year?”

  1. Martin Says:

    When we will get a reduction in the number of councillors in line with the cuts in council staff numbers and the extra workload they now have .

  2. Chasing pavements Says:

    Very pleased that bear about improvements to pavements. Pavements may be considered trivial in the scheme of things but they can make a massive difference to how a place looks and feel. Public realm is all important but (somewhat typically one might say) it's details like this that are too often overlooked in Manchester or they are sacrificed in favour of commercial priorities (again typical Manchester). Good to hear they will get some much needed attention.

  3. Richard Leese Says:

    @Martin. The council is in the middle of a Boundary Review where the Boundary Commission for England has decided that the number of Councillors should remain the same. That doesn't mean the same workload as the electorate of the city has gone up by well over 20% since the last review was carried out and our wards were already larger than those in most other councils in the country

  4. Save Our Green Belt Says:

    Will £100m be enough to repair all the roads especially if you keep on building them through the green belt i.e. SEMMS/A6MARR... the more roads you build the more you will need to invest in future years to repair them...



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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