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Warning Lichfield District Council cost-cutting could continue as £2.3million shortfall is predicted

Residents have been warned that Lichfield District Council cannot afford to end steps to cut costs as it looks to balance the books and meet a possible £2.3million funding shortfall.

Figures delivered to a Cabinet meeting this week revealed that the latest round of Fit for the Future savings had created £110,000 more than the £350,000 originally targeted.

A better than expected financial picture this year also means the council is set to put more than £300,000 into its general reserves, rather than taking out the £120,000 it had planned to make ends meet .

But despite the improved balance, the local authority will not slow down attempts to find even more savings, with £500,000 needing to be shaved off the budget next year and Cllr Christopher Spruce warning the financial future was still likely to be a difficult one.

Cllr Christopher Spruce

Cllr Christopher Spruce

The Cabinet member for finance at the council said: “Through our Fit for the Future programme, we’ve managed to put £300,000 more than we’d forecast into our reserves this year. This has come from savings we’ve made throughout the year, additional rental income, income from our car parks, and an increase in planning income.

“This is a step in the right direction and will place us in a stronger position and help to lessen the impact of funding cuts in years to come.

“Despite boosting our reserves this year, we cannot afford to take our focus off cutting our costs and increasing our income.”

Like other local authorities up and down the country, Lichfield District Council is feeling the pinch as the Government looks to reduce the amount of funding it gives to councils.

And Cllr Spruce warned that a shortfall of £2.3million in the council’s budget was expected within three years.

Cllr Spruce added: “Our central government grant is currently £773,000, and this has helped to fund local services this year – from bin collections through to street cleansing and parks management.

“In 2018/19, this grant will be zero and will become negative in 2019/20, and we also expect other key funding streams to be affected. This means we are facing an anticipated shortfall of up to £2.3million in 2020/21.”

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  1. Sj

    16th February, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Isn’t it time Lichfield people who actually care about this city and understand the needs of those living here took the reins and dumped labour ,conservative and lib dem councilors who have national party agedendas in mid rather than the welfare of Lichfield and its people and the generations to come an independent Lichfield council I’d say is in order .

  2. Agitatorofpeople

    17th February, 2017 at 9:48 am

    We certainly need a change from the majority Conservative council that we have now, they roll over and keep on applying austerity, cuts and asset stripping as a solution for what they think is good governance.

    Dressing up “Savings” as cuts, if they had spines they would be creating merry hell in westminster, they cant even manage a deal with their Tory buddies like Surrey council.

    And people think local council elections are not important!

  3. Toast

    17th February, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Regarding the increase in revenue from car parks – they may well see a decline in this if they keep putting the prices up. How long before people stop coming to Lichfield to shop, if nearby Tamworth has many more free car parks?