Published: Monday, 30th Nov 2020

Bolton Council has launched a public consultation about its 2021 to 2023 budget proposals.

Cabinet today (Nov 30) agreed to consult about recommendations to make £39.5 million savings - £37.2m in 21/22 and £2.3m in the second budget year.

The consultation will run from December 1, 2020 to January 12, 2021.

People can find out more about the proposals on the council website and give their views via an online survey here.

A final report taking feedback into account will go back to the Cabinet and to full council for approval in February 2021.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “Even before the pandemic struck we were already facing a difficult set of financial decisions this coming year. However, since March, we have been hit by a perfect storm of £8m of deferred savings from the last administration plus lost income, increased pressures and demand for our services as a result of the pandemic, adding a further £12m to our starting point for the next financial year.

“In addition to this £20m the direct impact of Covid-19 into the future and new pressures emerging in this financial year have increased this target to £37.2m. 

“While we have had a lot of support from the government to deal with the pandemic itself, plus grants to help businesses and residents, it has not been enough to offset council pressures and the losses we have faced. The recent government spending review announcement may help our predicament. It is complex and officers are looking at it, but we need further details to fully understand what it means for Bolton, and if it can assist with the difficult choices we are facing. We also need to remember as we enter a Tier 3 arrangement the full implications of this on local business, the economy, residents and ultimately the councils finances is very difficult to predict.

“In the meantime we would ask all partners to contribute ideas - we are willing to listen to people’s concerns, and rethink certain proposals as long as those who oppose can come up with viable and costed alternatives.”