Council budget to make more than £21m worth of savings

Wakefield Council’s budget proposals for 2024/25 have been given the green light at a Cabinet meeting today – 13 February.

But the council has warned there is a “significant gap” between what Wakefield needs to deliver local services and the income it receives from Government.

It says uncertainty from Government about longer-term funding means future years are looking “very challenging.”

Its budget intends to make savings and efficiencies totalling over £21m. And it aims to generate £1.4m from additional income from housing growth along with an extra £1.6m from business growth.

The budget explains the council’s limited resources will focus on key priorities over the next two years up to 2026.

Wakefield’s leader, Councillor Denise Jeffery, said the proposals aim to tackle a £33.1m budget gap.

Councillor Denise Jeffery

She added: “We’re not immune from the very significant challenges facing all councils. But we’ve managed our finances responsibly in recent years. And we know what needs to be done to continue to be sustainable into the future.

“Our plan, underpinned by the budget, helps to set out how we are going to meet this challenge responsibly, sustainably and fairly.

“We’re continuing to use the resources we have to make the maximum impact possible. We know our communities need us more than ever before – the huge increase in demand for children and adult social care services shows us that.

“We’ll never lose sight of everyone that relies on us. We’re committed to putting vulnerable people across Wakefield first. And we’ll carry on supporting our residents and businesses so that we can all live in a place we’re proud of.”

Under the proposed budget, adult social care services would be supported by an extra £3.5m from a 2% precept, costing a Band A property 42p more per week.

And it is also proposed to raise an additional £5.2m by increasing council tax by 2.99%, adding 63p per week to Band A properties.

Wakefield’s 2024/25 budget report will now move on to Full Council for formal agreement on 28 February.