Papers outlining how Manchester City Council intends to address a budget shortfall of up to £105m for 2021/22 have been published.
That is the size of the budget gap faced if there is no extra Government funding for next year either through the impending financial settlement, or other means, to recognise the difficult position faced by the Council and its key role in the city’s response to the pandemic.
The financial impacts of the Covid-19 period – both through increased costs and lost commercial income – combined with pre-existing budget pressures (associated with supporting a growing population and inflation) mean the Council is currently facing a predicted budget shortfall of up to £105m in 2021/22, rising in 2022/23.
Reports published by the City Council, will be considered by various scrutiny committees before going to the Council’s Executive on Wednesday 11 November, set out around £52m worth of cuts and savings options being put forward by officers.
A consultation asking Manchester people, businesses and organisations what they think about the proposals will open on Wednesday 11 November and run until 6 January 2021. Options will also be subject to Equality Impact Assessments.
Also guiding decision-making will be a clear focus on the people’s priorities for the city which were informed by the major Our Manchester consultation exercises. These are protecting the most vulnerable, delivering the best services we can and early help to support people to deal with issues so they can avoid getting into greater difficulties – all underpinned by inclusive and sustainable job creation and Manchester’s goal of becoming zero carbon by 2038.
This, along with the financial settlement from the Government for 2021/22 which is expected later this autumn, will help shape the final proposals in the New Year. The final budget will be set on Friday 5 March 2021.
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