Wednesday 17 April 2024
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Nottingham

Leader Ben Bradley issues statement as county council delivers balanced budget

Nottinghamshire County Council set out their plans for the next financial year.

Cllr Ben Bradley MP issues this update:

Each year Councils across the country have a legal requirement to set a balanced budget, Councillor Ben Bradley says that he and his colleagues at County Hall have a robust strategic plan and are in a relatively strong position, despite additional pressures caused by rising costs and inflation:

“Since taking over control of the Nottinghamshire County Council in 2017 the Conservatives have had a clear strategy; we have managed our reserves wisely and not squandered them as opposition Members would have allowed in previous years. We are focused on making our services more sustainable while continuing to deliver the key things that residents would expect with taxpayers’ money. We have plan and it is working.”

Councillor Bradley acknowledges that tough decisions made over the years have placed the Council on a much more sustainable footing in contrast to some of the neighbouring councils.

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“We have looked extremely carefully over the last few years at our core functions and services to ensure the best possible value for money for our residents. You only have to look at our neighbours in the City, where they have failed to address budget pressures over time and have blown money on expensive mistakes and pet projects like Robin Hood Energy. Though none of this is easy, we’ve always sought solutions to problems, and we’ve always found answers. This is the reason that we are able to protect services whilst the Labour-run City is having to cut everything.”

The Cabinet papers released today (31 January) highlight three key budgetary pressures: the cost of placements for looked-after children, additional expenses associated with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) transport, and the strains on adult social care. It also sets out the Council’s plans to mitigate these pressures, whilst continuing with an ambition to transform services making them more sustainable in the future, with early help and prevention being a key theme throughout.

Councillor Ben Bradley states, “We aim to work more closely with our communities, local groups, and councils to ensure better value, reduce duplication, and play a crucial role in facilitating local initiatives. Our focus remains on delivering key services efficiently, making savings where possible, and investing in strategic projects for long-term benefits.”

Looking ahead, Nottinghamshire County Council have plans to navigate future pressures with their comprehensive strategic plan whilst continuing to invest in a number of major capital projects such as improvements to the A614, invest to save initiatives like their new offices near Hucknall which will help to reduce their footprint from 17 buildings down to 9, the delivery of a number of school expansion projects and the continued roll out of the ‘Notts Bus On Demand’ service which has been a huge success.

The proposals are due to be discussed at the meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday 8th February before being taken to Full Council on Thursday 22nd February 2024.

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