Council aiming to bridge a £10m budget gap

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is drawing up its spending plans for the 2023/24 financial year, as the authority warns it faces a shortfall of up to £10m.

The council says it expects Government funding for council services will not increase in line with inflation next year, resulting in a real-terms cut to the money available to provide essential services.

The council will begin the formal process of setting its budget in February next year.

Its current annual revenue budget is £260m, made up of £122m worth of Council Tax, £79m worth of Business Rates and £69m in Government funding.

Rotherham Council says it is likely to significantly overspend its budget for the current year as a result of rising inflation and energy costs, which could not have been predicted when the budget was set.

Councillor Saghir Alam, cabinet member for corporate services, community safety and finance, said: “Every resident and business is suffering financially as a result of rising inflation and energy costs – and the council is no different.

“The prudent approach we have taken to financial management in recent years means our finances are in a healthier position than many other local councils.

“However, while this will insulate our residents against the severity of cuts and tax increases that will be imposed elsewhere, we still face a budget gap of up to £10m for 2023/24 and it is a legal requirement for councils to set a balanced budget.

“We’re asking residents and businesses to share their feedback on the areas they think we should prioritise, the services we need to improve, what works well and what we need to do better.”

Responses to a public consultation will be fed into the budget report to be considered by the council’s Cabinet at its meeting on 14 February 2023, before the final budget is set at Full Council on 2 March 2023.

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