Shropshire Council's 2013-2014 budget will be considered at the Council meeting on 28 February 2013. The gross budget for 2013-14 is £654m with a net budget requirement of £232m.
The Council is continuing to face unprecedented change in Local Government – much of it driven by the global financial crisis which continues to be firmly felt in the public sector.
Media headlines have been plentiful about the size of the challenge facing councils, and it’s clear the Council has to change to become a more cost-effective and streamlined organisation in the future.
The Council’s role is changing and many of the services provided will be delivered differently in the future, in order to make the best possible use out of the Council’s finances.
The Council agreed in May 2012 that in order to deliver its strategic outcomes, it must plan to commission outcomes differently, to trade in order to gain new sources of income and partner with others to reduce costs and increase effectiveness. This work continues in earnest and will reshape the original budget for 2013/14 to reflect the development of the Council as a commissioner of outcomes and ip&e Ltd (the Council’s wholly owned company) as an increasingly important deliverer of services.
2013/14 sees the introduction of localised Business Rates, which will allow Shropshire Council to retain 50% of all the business rates raised in the Shropshire area. This provides a further incentive to the Council to grow local business and infrastructure for the benefit of local people.
The Shropshire Council Budget now includes Public Health, a service that was previously managed by the Health Service, and provides many opportunities within the Council for joint working to improve public health outcomes.
The Council is investing about £70 million into local projects in 2013/14. The capital programme is priority led in that it particularly reflects the need for growth in the Shropshire economy and flourishing local communities and includes significant investment to deliver superfast broadband across much of Shropshire in the coming years.
We are continuing to work to reduce our levels of prudential borrowing by generating capital receipts from surplus assets, which will have year-on-year benefits, and it’s clear that every penny must be carefully scrutinised in these financially straitened times.