Council asks citizens for opinion on what to be done about funding

The council is embarking on a consultation about an anticipated £26m drop in funding.

StopStartChangeInfographicsBrighton and Hove City Council is today embarking on a citywide consultation asking residents which services should be cut back in light of an anticipated £26 million drop in funding.

The local authority is preparing next year’s budget and already knows it will have to do without £18 million of grant funding not being continued into 2015/16. Together with increased costs, that grant reduction leaves a funding gap of £26.3 million. By 2019/20 that budget gap could be as high as £102.4 million, assuming there is no increase in council tax.

The Green Party, which leads the council, will again propose a council tax increase – this time of 5.9%, equivalent to £1.48 more per week for a band D household. Even if approved, that increase alone will not plug the shortfall in government funding.

And so councillors are today launching a consultation campaign called Stop, Start, Change. They want to hear from as many locals as possible about what they would stop doing, or do less of; what they would start doing, or do more of; and what they would change.

People can feedback on Twitter using the hashtag #BHbudget (follow the council at @BrightonHoveCC) or by filling in an online questionnaire at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/bhbudget.

Councillor Ollie Sykes, head of finance at the council, said: “Next year’s council budget needs to save £26 million on top of £70 million saved over the past four years.

“Decisions on where to spend less will be extremely challenging. It’s essential for us to hear from as many city residents as possible about what you think should change.

“Please get involved in the Stop, Start, Change conversation and help us make the right decisions about next year’s budget.”