Thursday 8 October 2015

Sheffield City Council has today presented the financial challenge it faces over the coming years, as the Government are expected to make further cuts to local government in the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year.

Next year the Council will have to find a further £50.9 million to balance the books as a result of further Government cuts, increased demand for services such as adult social care and rising cost pressures beyond the council’s control.

Over the past five years the council has continually balanced the books, making savings of £300 million, including a 50% cut to its local government grant. The council has demonstrated competent leadership by prioritising the protection of front line services as far as possible and protecting services for the most vulnerable in the city in the face of unprecedented cuts to funding.

Due to the level of the cuts faced by the council it has not been possible to prevent the Government’s austerity programme from impacting on the people of Sheffield. The council has a strong track record of managing Sheffield’s public finances by making significant savings in management costs, accommodation, IT and successfully redesigning services.

The council is currently developing ideas to deal with the further cuts it faces this year and will be bringing forward proposals for public consultation over the coming months, in line with the approach taken over recent years.

Councillor Ben Curran, Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources, said: “Government cuts have hit Sheffield harder than many other areas of the country. The council has had to transform how it works and deliver services over the past five years to balance the books. Above all, we have reduced spending on accommodation and IT by £35 million in recent years to focus the money we have left on meeting the challenges we face as a city and continue to protect the people who need our help and support the most, as much as we can.”

“The road that the government are taking us down is unsustainable. It creates serious risks for a number of key services such as adult social care. Although we will continue to do everything we can to innovate and protect services, what we really need is a change of approach from the government.”