Next month Bolton Council will decide its budget for 2010/11 and what the level of council tax will be.
This year (2009/10) the council budget is £400m and on this website you can find out more about where this goes.
The council’s budget is funded from grant and business rates that it receives from the government, and from council tax. The government has already told the council how much it will receive in grants.
The authority receives a dedicated schools grant which must be used for funding of schools. For 2010/11 the council will receive £183.4m, an increase of 4.2% from the current year.
To fund all the other services the government gives a revenue support grant and a share of national business rate income. In 2010/11 it will receive £127.6m. This is £3.8m more than the current year, an increase of 3.1%.
The council tax is the only element of funding that the council has control over, but it actually only makes up 25% of the funding it receives. This is going to be particularly challenging because costs are anticipated to rise significantly next year.
The council is looking to identify efficiency savings to help meet these costs, both in 2010/11 and future years. As the council is aiming for an increase of no more than 2% this would require savings of £7.8m to balance the budget. For every 1% reduction in your council tax bill below the 2% increase, additional savings of £1m have to be found.
The council is therefore asking residents that in view of this, when looking for savings to balance its budget, which services do they think the council should seek to protect?
Residents can have their say, about the budget, at special meetings this month, or they can complete the online survey on this website (available through the link on the right).
The meetings are:
- Arts Theatre, Turton High School at 7pm on January 12
- Leverhulme Primary School at 7pm on January 13
- Lostock Parish Centre, Tempest Road at 7pm on January 14
- Farnworth Town Hall at 1pm on January 25
- St Catherine’s Primary School, Horwich at 7pm on January 26
- Festival Hall, Bolton Town Hall at 2pm on January 27
Please check the news section to make sure they have not been affected by the weather.