Public consultation on budget proposals

Four consultations launched on 24 October

We ran a range a range of consultations in the last quarter of 2018 to gather the views of residents, partners, businesses and other stakeholders on proposals to deliver a balanced budget for the council. A final decision on the budget will be taken by Full Council in February 2019.

The questionnaire on the overall budget consultation was open from 24 October 2018 until 2 January 2019. The three secondary consultations were open for feedback from 24 October 2018 until 16 January 2019.

A final set of proposals were presented to Cabinet on 19 February 2019 and Full Council on 20 February 2019. Papers supporting this decision

In addition to a budget consultation which set out all of our proposals, we undertook additional consultations relating to three specific budget proposals. These included:
  • Revising the Adult Social Care Charging policy
  • Future of two council-owned residential care homes
  • Revising service charges for tenants (Housing Revenue Account)

Full analysis of the consultation feedback has been undertaken and is summarised in the following reports:

For all budget proposals an Equalities and Safety Impact Assessment is carried out to consider the potential effects of the proposals and plan mitigations. A Cumulative Impact Assessment is also carried out to provide an overview of all proposals.

Why do we have to save money?

Council Tax - 17% pie chart
Council Tax only covers 17% of our total council expenditure
Grant reduction icon
The main grant we receive from central government will be reduced by 54% over the medium term
Icon of two people shaking hands
The rest of our funding is made up of income from business rates, government grants and funding we win through bids to central government
Icon representing social care charge increase
At the same time the cost of social care for adults and children continues to go up year on year

As a result of reductions in funding from central government, Southampton City Council has made £136.4 million savings over the last seven years and we need to make another £15.05 million savings by 2020/21. Income from the Council Tax only covers 17% of our total council expenditure (excluding Housing Revenue Account expenditure and schools expenditure) and the revenue support grant funding we receive from central government will be reduced by 54% over the medium term. At the same time as we are having to make further savings, demand for our services – particularly those for vulnerable children and adults – continues to increase year-on-year.

We have adopted an outcome-based planning and budgeting approach to ensure that the council is investing its reduced resources in those services that have the greatest impact on the delivery of our priority outcomes. Those outcomes have been developed based on feedback from residents, staff and partners, and are:

  1. Strong and sustainable economic growth
  2. Children and young people get a good start in life
  3. People in Southampton live safe, healthy, independent lives
  4. Southampton is an attractive and modern city, where people are proud to live and work

And, to ensure the council can deliver against these in an affordable way, we aim to be a 'modern sustainable council'.

By allocating resources to these priorities, considering what is being achieved from the services being provided, and what can be improved, changed or stopped, we have identified areas where we can potentially make savings. We have also included income generation proposals and ‘business as usual’ efficiencies.

Supplementary frequently asked questions and information sheets are available which explain the proposals.

The overall budget consultation closed on 2 January 2019.

If you use the links below, you will find associated information on the three other consultations which relate to our budget proposals. These consultations have now closed.

Consultation 2: Future of two residential care homes

Consultation 3: Adult Social Care charging policy review

Consultation 4: Revising service charges for tenants