Research information published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), the public finance experts, warned that councils across the UK will face a £3.6 billion funding gap next year.
That could rise to around £7.6 billion by 2026 if there is no further funding support from the Government.
We will be lobbying, along with district and county council networks, to request the Government to commit to their fair funding review, which has been promised for years now but has never been delivered.
The ask for the government is to boost spending power by nine per cent as they did for the 2023/2024 settlement and increase local housing allowance in the autumn statement on November 22 to prevent a surge in homelessness.
It is a legal requirement for the council to set a balanced budget each year. We have been reviewing every aspect of our service delivery in detail since July to make efficiencies and identify possible savings and over 400 of our residents have responded to our budget consultation.
The budget proposals will be published in a report that will go to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on November 9 for a robust independent challenge and review.
I want to reassure everyone that we have a viable, sensible plan and are doing everything in our power to protect services and deliver for Mansfield residents.
Despite these financial challenges, we have received some fantastic news regarding investment and funding opportunities for Mansfield.
We have been working closely with the Government on potential schemes that meet the criteria to gain an additional £20 million as part of the Levelling Up Partnership.
On top of this, we are one of 55 towns selected for the government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns scheme. This scheme could bring in an additional £20 million over the next decade to regenerate the high street, support more town centre housing, tackle anti-social behaviour and stimulate private investment.
Our town centre masterplan is being recognised as aligning with government priorities, which is why we are being successful in attracting funding.
However, residents need to be aware that this funding is ring-fenced, which means it cannot be used to help us balance our budget or be used towards our day-to-day running costs.
Fingers crossed that the government follow through on its promises. Mansfield is on the tipping point of a major revival that will improve the life opportunities for all our residents district-wide.