Newham Council is committed to delivering a budget for residents, and a budget that can continue to support the borough’s most vulnerable residents, whilst making the required efficiencies of £45million over the next three years, enforced by government austerity. The council wants residents’ thoughts on how these savings should be made.
To help illustrate the challenges and constraints the council is facing a budget simulator is allowing residents to calculate how they would balance the council’s books. The simulator will tell users the impacts of the decisions they make, such as raising Council Tax or cutting funding to services. The findings from the simulator will be collated and help to inform the 2020/21 budget.
The council needs to made efficiencies of £25million in the 2020/21 budget, with a further £20million in the following two years.
A spokesperson for Newham Council said: “The Newham budget simulator allows residents to have their say on how the should council spend its money.
“We cannot shy away from the fact that we need to make substantial savings. However, with the help of our residents, we can create a budget that works for the whole of the borough and put the council on a strong financial footing for future years.
“In spite of the challenges, this administration is committed to agreeing a budget that works for the entirety of the borough. This is your chance to give your views on the budget you want to see for Newham.”
The Medium Term Financial Plan was agreed by Cabinet in July and will see the council take a three-year approach to budget setting. This will allow Newham Council to take into account risks it faces as well as all known future commitments.
There will be further chance for residents to have their say on the budget in January with a series of forums. These forums will give residents the opportunity to discuss the budget with councillors and council officers, to give their views and learn more about the budget setting process at Newham Council.
The budget will be decided at a meeting of Full Council in March 2020.