A new consultation launches today (Monday 6 November) focusing on Bristol City Council’s draft five-year plan, its 2018-19 budget proposals and a range of ways to close its budget gap of £108 million between April 2018 and April 2023.
The ‘Tough Times, High Hopes’ consultation includes draft proposals which outline ways to make the £52m of savings required next year (2018/19). Through it people are able to give their feedback on these, as well as Council Tax and Adult Social Care levy proposals.
Everyone who lives, works and visits Bristol is invited to review the draft Corporate Strategy and budget proposals and have their say through the consultation, which is open now at www.bristol.gov.uk/corpstrategy.
The Corporate Strategy sets out the council’s priorities in driving a city of hope and aspiration despite a challenging financial climate. It is a high-level strategic response to the opportunities and challenges facing Bristol now and in future, forming the main basis of detailed future business plans and how the council organises itself.
Also launching today is a new version of the council’s Budget Simulator. People can use the online tool to try their hand at dealing with the budget gap and to better understand the consequences of making savings. It is available now at http://bristol.budgetsimulator.com. However, the budget simulator is not a formal part of the consultation process and people are advised to complete the main survey alongside it.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “Bristol is a successful city that has much to be proud of. We want everyone to share in that success and have real hope and aspiration.
“We face many challenges in achieving that, not least a £108m budget gap over the next five years as we try to deal with the consequences of austerity, increased costs and the rising population in the city.
“These are tough times but we’re getting a real grip on the challenge and have high hopes for Bristol’s continued success. This success needs to include everyone and empower local people, a sentiment which runs throughout our strategy.
“To achieve this, the council needs to change and so does what people expect of it. We are being clearer that we are only one part of the wider city network. We will do our utmost to protect our services but we must be more than solely a service provider. We want to be more of a development organisation which empowers people, working far more in partnership to make this happen.
“These are not easy decisions and your views will help us shape Bristol’s future.”
The consultation will last for six weeks and people can give their feedback until midnight on Sunday 17 December 2017. People’s responses to the consultation will be considered as final proposals are developed. The responses will also be considered both by both Cabinet and Full Council at their respective meetings on the budget and Corporate Strategy in January and February 2018. The final decision on the overall budget and Corporate Strategy rests with Full Council, which will meet on 20 February 2018.
Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor for Finance, Governance and Performance, said: “A lot of hard work has taken place to put together ambitious plans and savings proposals which are as positive as possible in minimising the impact on frontline services. No decisions have been made and we're welcoming views.
"There are of course some difficult choices to make because you can’t save this kind of money without them. We want to hear people’s thoughts and make sure that the council’s contribution to city life enables everyone to share in Bristol’s success.”
The annual budget consultation for 2018-19 is also supported by consultations about specific services. These launch today and link to next year’s proposed budget, but also deal with savings in future years.
- Prioritising allowance needs for Special Guardians and families with children who are voluntarily looked after by the local authority by introducing Financial Assessment - www.bristol.gov.uk/budgetconsultation1
- Increase income generation and efficiency across culture services - www.bristol.gov.uk/budgetconsultation2
- Removal of remaining funding supporting neighbourhood action - www.bristol.gov.uk/budgetconsultation3
- New ways of running parks and open spaces - www.bristol.gov.uk/parksconsultation
The Corporate Strategy and budget consultation, along with all relevant supporting documents, is available at www.bristol.gov.uk/corpstrategy. Printed versions will be available later this week in children’s centres, the Citizen Service Point at 100 Temple Street and libraries. Printed copies and alternative formats of all consultation documents can be obtained by emailing email@example.com or calling 0117 922 2848.
Further resources to download are available below:
- Corporate Plan and Budget Consultation Booklet.pdf
- Draft Corporate Strategy 2018-2023
- Corporate Strategy and Budget Consultation Survey
You can watch Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and Deputy Mayor Craig Cheney introduce the Corporate Strategy and Budget consultation 2017-18 below: