2017/18 will be the seventh year of budget cuts at Sheffield City Council, with the cumulative spending cuts total now running to £352 million.
This is equivalent to the cost of maintaining all parks and countryside managed by Sheffield City Council an estimated 60 times over.
The savings have included a combination of cuts to funding, and the additional ‘pressures’ associated with services where demand has increased, the costs of inflation, and changes to government legislation that the Council must comply with.
Next year the council will have to make cuts of £40 million.
Councillor Ben Curran, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “Make no mistake, the cumulative impact of the last seven years of budget cuts has been huge. We know that many people in the city have felt the impact of these cuts on their lives in a number of ways. But when we look back at these sums, it is only due to prudent financial management that people in the city have not seen a much greater impact on the services we all value.
“Our priorities have been taking care of people, spreading the savings, and finding innovative ways to keep delivering the services people care about.
“And there is more to come. We have more savings to make, particular as the pressure on some services continues to grow and grow. The Medium Term Financial Strategy sets out the scale of the challenges facing the authority’s finances for the next five years.
The budget planning process for 2017/18 is already well underway. The publication of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) this week is a significant milestone. This document sets out the Council’s latest financial forecast for the period 2017/18 to 2021/22.
Over the next five years, it is estimated that the Council’s cumulative budget gap will increase from around £40m in 2017/18 to £116m by 2021/22. This takes account of changes to the Council’s main sources of income, as well as the pressures on services.
Councillor Curran continued: “The important thing we’re lobbying the government for here is to frontload the additional Better Care Fund money that will enable us to keep up with the increased demand for services. We need this funding in order to look after the increasing number of people who are dependent on social care..”