In the past six years, Cambridgeshire County Council has successfully delivered £215 million of savings while still providing good quality services, but we know over the next five years we face a further £100m of pressure on budgets. 

Delivery of £31m of savings in 2017/18 is on track, and the Council is now working on plans to deliver further savings in 2018/19.

Taken together the Council goes into its budget planning round this Autumn with a £37.5 million gap between the money it receives from the government, from council tax, business rates and the income it makes – and the amount it needs to spend on services.

  • This includes additional pressures such as predicted changes to the rules surrounding Dedicated Schools Grant.
  • Additional pressures such as a sharp increase in the number of older people needing care.
  • Increasing numbers of children needing home to school transport.
  • Increased numbers of vulnerable children needing protection.

 “It is difficult, it is challenging, but we are transforming our business in order to deliver on our responsibilities to the people of Cambridgeshire,” said Roger Hickford, Deputy Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

“We are becoming ever more entrepreneurial as a council – investing in opportunities which will both improve the county and create a gain for us to invest in our services. One example of this is developing housing projects on land we own – creating more housing in Cambridgeshire and generating £7.2m in income to protect frontline services. One of the first of these initiatives – for 350 homes in Burwell – got the development green light last month.

“Last year this council approved a five-year business case to invest almost £2m from our Transformation Fund into a suite of technological approaches which are already delivering savings as well as improved outcomes - such as improving the application process and delivery of Blue Badges to people who need to keep independent.

“We are also looking to the future, and working with the County’s MPs and the national body The County Council’s Network to take a strong message to Government, that historic underfunding of large rural counties cannot continue, with our Fairdeal4Cambs campaign”

A set of proposals are to be discussed by Councillors through service committees this October, with proposals to  bridge more than £31.5m of the £37.5m 2018/19 funding gap, which

  • Invest in Cambridgeshire County Council services to transform them, delivering better outcomes and reduced demand
  • Invest in commercial opportunities which bring in a good financial return to the council
  • Transform the way the Council works – making improvements to how we manage our business, our people and our money
  • Scrutinise contracts we have with suppliers to achieve even greater value

All budget ideas to be discussed at committees over the coming month are still proposals, and will be subject ongoing discussions by Members. Cambridgeshire County Council will also be launching public consultation which will have two stages. Firstly small targeted focus groups to help shape our budget proposals as they develop and subsequently a household survey, online survey and talking to members of the public at community events to get further feedback on ideas and suggestions.

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