Budget consultation – Have your say

Sandwell Council has launched a consultation on how it spends its money and options for

future savings so that it can continue investment in crucial services.

The council has budgeted to spend £583 million this financial year providing public services. Now the council wants to hear what residents’ priorities are as it develops its budget proposals for 2023/24. Each year, the council sets a budget for the next financial year that details how much money will be spent on each of the services the council provides. The council is making savings of around £16m this financial year and expects to need to save a similar amount next year. Approximately 70 per cent of the Council’s net budget is spent on services for vulnerable adults and children.

The remainder is spent on services such as street cleansing, road maintenance, libraries, leisure centres and waste and recycling collections. The funding to pay for these services comes from council tax, business rates, government grants and money that the council raises directly through charging for services such as car parking. Residents in Sandwell pay the second lowest council tax rate in the West Midlands.

The pandemic has changed the way people need and use council services. The feedback provided through this consultation will help the council understand residents’ priorities and needs. This will guide spending decisions to ensure the way the council operates meets the evolving demands of our residents.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council said: “My ambition for Sandwell is to be a council that is totally focussed on the needs of our residents, where everyone can fulfil their potential and be proud to live here. “Like all local authorities, we are facing significant financial challenges.

Demand for our services for our most vulnerable residents is going up, and so too are our costs due to the high rate of inflation that is affecting us all. “We know that the pandemic has changed the way people need and use council services. That’s why we want to gather a wide range of views to ensure people who use our services inform and shape any decisions we make.”

The consultation closes on 28 August 2022

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