Blackpool Council has today published budget saving proposals for 2024/25.
In the financial year 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 a saving of £16.2 million is required. There are three key underlying reasons for the ongoing financial pressures: budget cuts, inflation and rising demand.
Since 2010 central government funding for Blackpool Council has reduced by £218 million this equates to a real term cut of 25.4%. These cuts have come at the same time as costs have increased and demand has risen, placing significant pressure on budgets.
Inflation over the past year has remained high and monies received from central government have not been increased by the same percentage leading to a real-term cut in funding. High inflation has also resulted in increases in energy costs and costs of providing support in both Adults and Children’s services.
Rising demand for services is continuing to place pressure on the Council’s budget, particularly in adult social care, children’s services, SEND transport and provision of temporary accommodation and homelessness. This rising demand for services is even greater in Blackpool due to our levels of deprivation.
In order to achieve this deficit all directorates will be required to make efficiency savings including renegotiation of external contracts, increased income generation and reduced spend on supplies and services. Employees will also be asked to take a minimum of five days unpaid leave
As a result of efforts made throughout the year the number of staff at risk of losing their job is in single figures. Over the last year, there has been increased scrutiny into the recruitment of new staff. When an employee leaves the authority, they are not automatically replaced. A panel of senior officers review every recruitment request with only essential roles receiving approval. The proposed budget sees more than 50 roles either frozen or removed.
Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said:
The council’s executive will discuss the budget proposals on Monday 5 February at 6.00pm.