Hull City Council unveils draft budget

January 06, 2011 4:08 PM

Councils throughout the country are working out how they are going to balance the books following the comprehensive spending review last year. Yesterday, I received a copy of the draft budget from Hull City Council that is now going out for public consultation.

The council has to find savings of £40 million, and despite the outcries of some, it has managed to do it. To give you an example, in Children and Young People’s Services the council states:

We will streamline the activities of specific functions within this directorate, and make our spend go further.

This has resulted in savings of £9,793,000! A further £3,000,000 of savings has been found by reviewing the way it supports frontline services.

We have stated on many occasions that significant savings can be found in council budgets across the country. Councils like Wandsworth have been doing it for years, delivering high quality frontline services, and reducing council tax. Hull City Council has today demonstrated it can make huge savings too. It begs the question: if it can find savings now, why hasn’t it done so in the past? If it had, council tax bills would have been lower, with more money being pumped into the local economy.

On a related subject, you can now view all expenditure over £500 on Hull City Council’s website. Figures from November are now up. Unfortunately, too many councils are dragging their heels, and around half have yet to comply with this requirement. It will be interesting to see if they have something to hide, or if they are just working at a slow speed. Either way, it proves reforms were needed, and I am looking forward to armchair auditors throughout the country picking their way through their local council’s expenditure.Councils throughout the country are working out how they are going to balance the books following the comprehensive spending review last year. Yesterday, I received a copy of the draft budget from Hull City Council that is now going out for public consultation.

The council has to find savings of £40 million, and despite the outcries of some, it has managed to do it. To give you an example, in Children and Young People’s Services the council states:

We will streamline the activities of specific functions within this directorate, and make our spend go further.

This has resulted in savings of £9,793,000! A further £3,000,000 of savings has been found by reviewing the way it supports frontline services.

We have stated on many occasions that significant savings can be found in council budgets across the country. Councils like Wandsworth have been doing it for years, delivering high quality frontline services, and reducing council tax. Hull City Council has today demonstrated it can make huge savings too. It begs the question: if it can find savings now, why hasn’t it done so in the past? If it had, council tax bills would have been lower, with more money being pumped into the local economy.

On a related subject, you can now view all expenditure over £500 on Hull City Council’s website. Figures from November are now up. Unfortunately, too many councils are dragging their heels, and around half have yet to comply with this requirement. It will be interesting to see if they have something to hide, or if they are just working at a slow speed. Either way, it proves reforms were needed, and I am looking forward to armchair auditors throughout the country picking their way through their local council’s expenditure.

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