Our 2018/19 budget
Our 2018-19 budget will be considered at the council meeting on 22 February 2018. The gross budget for 2018-19 is £562m, with a net budget requirement of £209m. 2018/19 is the first year of our five-year plan, as set out in our Financial Strategy. The plan doesn't, as yet, provide a balanced and sustainable budget for the long-term future, but it does meet our immediate challenges over the next two years. There's still a significant amount of uncertainty around the 2020/21 financial year due to the introduction of 75% business rates retention in that year, alongside the fair funding review. Therefore until further clarity is available from the government regarding the detail of these proposals, and we can evaluate the impact on the resources projected, it's not possible to formulate long-term plans to ensure a sustainable future for the council.
As you'll see from the capital budget section of this book, we're investing over £53million into local projects in 2018/19. The capital programme remains priority led, reflecting the need for growth in the Shropshire economy, investment in infrastructure and roads, and significant funding to deliver superfast broadband across much of Shropshire in the coming years. We continue to invest in digital transformation in order to streamline and improve the efficiency and productivity of our back-office services and reduce ongoing costs. Shropshire’s residents will begin to see the outcomes of this investment over the coming months as we deliver more services online, in a more accessible and efficient way.
The bottom line is, of course, that we have to balance our books. This is becoming increasingly difficult as each year progresses, and in 2018/19 we'll continue to see the use of significant one-off resources to deliver a balanced budget. This gives us more time to review our options and formulate sustainable proposals, but leaves us with some stark choices over the way we deliver services into the future.
The budget book for 2018/19 sets out our detailed revenue and capital budgets. It includes the following sections:
- Revenue summary
- Portfolio holder summary
- Subjective summary
- Financial strategy summary
- Detailed budgets by service area
- Appendices supporting the revenue budget
- Housing revenue account
- Capital programme