children's services- Council Tax hike - chief executive appointed

Cheshire East Council is set to report financial pressures of £12.8 million against its 2023/24 budget, latest figures show.

But the authority says savings already identified have reduced this from an eye-watering £26.6m deficit.

A report to be discussed at a corporate policy committee meeting on October 5 will identify areas for additional cost-cutting measures.

The council has already put in place controversial cost-cutting and revenue-making policies including new garden waste collection charges, cuts to library opening hours and a review of car parking income.

Bosses at the council blame increasing demand and rising costs from inflation and interest rates.

There has been a rise in demand on children and family services, facing a £11.4m budget pressure.

The number of children in care has increased by nine per cent, with increases in the cost of caring for each child.

There are also pressures relating to special educational needs and high needs funding.

Rising interest rates have also increased annual borrowing costs by £5.4m.

Now proposed new financial measures will focus on charges for services, recruitment of staff, council contracts with suppliers and contractors, and how the council spends on projects as well as day-to-day spending.

They will also look to sell off more if its buildings and land.

Council Leader Cllr Sam Corcoran said: “The council has no choice but to operate within a significantly challenging financial landscape.

“The Local Government Association and County Councils Network have both stated that councils in England are facing a funding gap in the billions of pounds over the next two years, with a BBC report finding that the average council now faces a predicted £33 million deficit by 2025-26.

“We are seeing demand for some council services that will be four times what we have now over the next five years.

“With more individuals and families needing support than ever before, the care of our most vulnerable people must come first.”

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, added: “Council officers are working extremely hard to reduce our forecasted budget gap, and by working together, our saving measures will help reduce the impact this gap has on our reserves.

“We cannot underestimate the challenge of achieving these savings over coming months.

“The severity of our situation means we must, again, look at everything the council delivers.

“I would urge anyone who is concerned to keep a look out for our budget consultation which will be launching in the autumn, and to help us as we develop a new strategic plan for the next four years.

“These two things will help us to focus on the borough’s priorities and, how we pay for it.”

4 Comments

  1. “Dr Lorraine O’Donnell was the top annual “earner” on £180,083″

    Say no more

  2. Chris Moorhouse says:

    Ronx. Don’t forget the report said it was also backdated.

  3. Deficits, then they give themselves a pay rise??????

  4. Well putting new paving in Nantwhich and then having to clean it less than twelve months after installation was money well spent,pi## up and brewery spring to mind.

    Sorry don’t believe a work this council has to say,total idiots

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