Budget consultation - Financial Year 2014-15
Draft budget options 2014/15 - recommended for approval
Following approval by Cabinet at its meeting on 5 February 2014, the draft budget options for 2014/15 have now been recommended to Council for final approval on 27 February 2014. The full Corporate Budget Plan and Treasury Management and Investment Strategy 2014/15 Cabinet report is available here (.PDF 1.62MB)
Annex 9 of the 5 February Cabinet report (.PDF 207KB) details findings from budget consultation and includes the council’s response to each draft policy proposal. A full list of recommended savings is also available (.PDF 51.1KB)
Consultation on the draft policy proposals was undertaken between August and November 2013 and details are provided below.
We will make the best of what we’ve got
It’s a difficult time to be in the public sector. The world is changing and there will be less money. The public sector will have to change radically because of having less money. Some difficult choices will have to be made and at Walsall Council we expect that we’ll have to save £100 million over the next five years.
There are four main areas that we’re focussing on to make a difference.
- We’re helping businesses create jobs and opportunities in Walsall and we’re helping Walsall people find work.
- We’re helping Walsall people lead healthier lives and older people live independently.
- We’re creating safe and sustainable places where everyone can live.
- We’re working to help the children who need the most help and we’re working so children can learn and make the best start in life they can.
We’re working harder than ever to make Walsall a better place for everyone. We’ll have less money and we are likely to have fewer people so we’ll be able to do less. But we’ll make the best of what we’ve got. You can read more about the council's budget in the Budget Book 2013/14 or view our key financial information page .
What Walsall Council does
We provide and support hundreds of services, some of which are statutory (we have to). This list of council services (PDF 18KB) and handy street picture (PDF 178KB) can be used as a handy reference of council services.
The draft budget options were published in October 2013 and details of the Draft Revenue Budget and Capital Programme for Consultation were detailed in a report to Cabinet on 23 October 2013.
- Summary of our draft budget proposals (PDF 60KB)
- View list of detailed budget options (Excel 83KB)
- You can read the council’s October 2013 press release here
Over 1,300 responses were received in the first and second phases of budget consultation from September up to 14 November 2013. These responses have been summarised in a detailed report to Cabinet on 11 December 2013 (PDF 184KB). Cabinet will consider this feedback and use it to inform the budget decisions.
Here you can read the full report for Agenda item 22 of 11 December Cabinet (PDF 117KB) - Financial Plan 2014/15 to 2018/19: Update on Draft Revenue Budget and Capital Programme, and outcome of budget consultation to date
Non-domestic rate payers consultation on the draft budget
Under section 134 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, the council has a responsibility to consult non-domestic rate payers on the budget. Representatives of the business and community and voluntary sectors were invited to comment on the draft budget proposals by completing our online response form.
This consultation has now closed.
Proposal to close Walsall Museum - consultation
The Council is facing unprecedented reductions in its budgets over the next 5 years and currently needs to save over £100m by 2017/18. This will mean significant changes to the way services are delivered. Some difficult choices have had to be identified including a proposal to close Walsall Museum to the public and place the collections in storage, thereby saving £70,000.
Please note the proposed closure of Walsall Museum was one of 29 council wide policy related draft budget proposals for 2014/15, totalling £19 million.
This consultation has now closed. 311 people responded.
Proposal to increase Blue Badge Fee from £2 to £10 - consultation
The Blue Badge (disabled parking) service is provided by upper tier Councils under regulations set out by the Department for Transport (DfT). Few changes have been made to the scheme in England since it was first established in the 1970s. The maximum charge for a Blue Badge, valid for three years, has remained at £2.00 since 1983.
A review of the scheme by the DfT in 2007 highlighted a number of areas where improvements were needed to the administration of the scheme, eligibility criteria and to prevent fraud and misuse. National consultation was undertaken and the government published a Reform Strategy in October 2008.
Under the new proposals implemented by the Government the Council is no longer able to produce disabled parking badges themselves. This function has been contracted by the DfT to Northgate Public Services. The Council has no alternative but to use this service and is currently charged £4.60 for each blue badge produced. The new style badge is more secure and less open to fraud.
In order to facilitate this improvement, legislation was passed in November 2011 which enabled councils to raise the fee for a blue badge from £2 to £10 to cover the increase in producing the new style of badge and administering the scheme.
As a result of unavoidable budget cuts, as many other council’s have already done so, a proposal was put forward to increase the blue badge fee from £2 to £10 from April 2014. As part of our decision making process we consulted a range of people including; existing blue badge holders, new applicants, organisations who hold blue badges and residents in general.
Please note the increase of blue badge fees is one of 29 council wide policy related draft budget proposals for 2014/15, totalling £19 million.
This consultation has now closed. 208 people responded.
Council Tax Consultation
Consultation took place between 25 October and 14 November 2013, the findings from which were reviewed as part of the budget setting process.
Remember you can have your say at anytime by:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- In writing To; Budget Have Your Say, Walsall Council. Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1TP
- Twitter: Tweet the @walsallcouncil account
- Facebook: Post a message on the Our Walsall page
This page was last updated on 26 February 2014