Solihull Council braced for 'extremely challenging' years ahead amid budget pressures - The Solihull Observer

Solihull Council braced for 'extremely challenging' years ahead amid budget pressures

Solihull Editorial 6th Jun, 2019   0

BUDGETS at Solihull Council will be ‘extremely challenging’ in the years ahead, a report on the local authority’s finances claims.

The Draft Accounting Statement 2018/19, written by the Council, says in cash terms the council is likely to have a similar amount to spend in 2021/22 as it did back in 2013/14 – despite increasing costs.

Solihull Council, like many others across the country, faces pressure on services, including adult social care.

The report estimates there will be around 39 per cent more Silhillians aged 65 and over by 2036, many living with dementia in the borough.

The document reported: “We have a good track record in identifying and delivering substantial savings, and we know that, although this is harder every year, we will need to sustain this beyond 2020.

“We have a long established culture of working in partnership across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors, with a shared commitment to the people of Solihull.”

The 160-page document reiterates the borough’s reliance on council tax, which provided almost three quarters of all funding (72 per cent) in the last financial year.

Several references to Brexit are made in the report, with uncertainty about Britain’s future relationship with the EU making “it difficult to forecast the impact on future demand for public services”.

The report states: “The national focus on Brexit has inevitably meant that other issues of vital importance to local government, such as the sustainable funding of adult social care and devolution to the regions have attracted little attention outside the sector.”

It added: “We are confident in the ability of the Council’s MTFS (medium-term finance strategy) to weather this period of instability.”

As well as being published on the council’s website, the draft accounting statement is also available to inspect in person on weekdays until July 8.

For more contact Gemma Farrington, in the finance team, on 0121 704 6855.

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