A report has warned that Lichfield District Council will need to make savings or find new ways to generate income over the next four years.

Lichfield District Council House

The impact of coronavirus has been felt on local authority finances with around £1million less being transferred into general reserves than anticipated at the start of 2020.

The report by Cllr Rob Strachan, cabinet member for finance, says the challenges of “balancing the budget” will be a continual one even beyond the pandemic.

Cllr Rob Strachan

“There is currently an unprecedented level of uncertainty in relation to local government finance with a number of planned reforms.

“This uncertainty has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic that will likely have an ongoing and long term impact on revenue budgets.

“General reserves, based on current projections, are sufficient to balance the budget until 2024/25.

“However this is not a sustainable approach and the council will need to make savings or achieve additional income to close the funding gap by 2024/25.”

Cllr Rob Strachan, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Strachan’s report also outlined the impact that the a replacement of Friary Grange Leisure Centre could have on potential funding gaps.

“A replacement leisure centre of £5,000,000 funded by borrowing has been included in the approved mid-term financial strategy.

“The estimated cost of borrowing of £294,000 impacting from 2024/25 onwards for a budgeted period of 25 years has also been included in the approved revenue budget.

“This borrowing will be a long term financial commitment for the council. Therefore given the range of financial projections at this time of unprecedented uncertainty, council will need to be aware that to enter into long term commitments of this nature carry a very high risk that a balanced budget cannot be achieved or maintained.

“It is very important therefore to highlight that to mitigate the risk of a statutory notice, focused on the inability to deliver a balanced budget, a robust and deliverable savings plan will need to be agreed together with a commitment to its delivery before any financial commitment can take place.”

Cllr Rob Strachan, Lichfield District Council

The report will be discussed at a meeting of the cabinet on 9th February.

6 replies on “Report warns Lichfield District Council will need to make savings or find new ways to generate income in order to balance the budget going forward”

  1. The Sad Truth. “A report has warned that Lichfield District Council will need to make savings or find new ways to generate income over the next four years”. And so it is the average or ordinary person who will never use High Speed Rail who don’t need to get or go anywhere fast, who are already picking up the ‘tab’ for this nightmare we are living through. Of course I mean HS2. The Chairman of HS2 Ltd, how can he live with himself, stated in February 2019 that the initial projection of cost for HS2 had risen from £55 to £86 billion. Surprise surprise. And when has a project so humungous ever come within budget. The cost is likely to be more by the end of this dark tunnel. This project is immoral and unethical and dare I say almost criminal. When ‘ordinary’ people are having to sacrifice income and livelihoods possibly homes and sanity, living on the breadline, children their education and health through lack of a proper daily diet, nurses their time and energy to keep the country on it’s feet, teachers working at home whilst looking after home and families, young ones suffering mental illness, how can anyone agree that spending such a large amount on this brain abberation is the right thing to do. Quite frankly in our heads and deep in our hearts we all know it is wrong! And perhaps all those politicians from all sides of the equation, approximately about half maybe more of the total number in Parliament, who abstained from voting on the future of the HS2 project last time should now stand up and be counted. Let us see who will vote for this insanity known as HS2 given the time we are living through. Someone who commented here said that the project will never pay for itself, the Truth plain and simple. How that amount of money could have been spent wisely, on an excellent integrated railway system incorporating all parts of the UK, as well as a properly funded health care system and helping the ordinary person to stand up for him or herself again in a country that shows it really does care for all not just the elite few who will be the ones to use this ‘fast train to nowhere”. Never has the divide between rich and poor been so evident, exposed by the coronavirus and yes dare I say High Speed Rail 2. And as for the total destruction and devastation of whole eco systems as a result of the crazy army of machines it makes me weep. It is like a war. A war on our sanity. For goodness sake whose brainchild was this?.Have the robots taken over. What has happened to humanity?. Next time you vote remember all of this. Let it guide you to make the right choice for the good of us all.

  2. Couldn’t have put it better myself Megan.

    Alternatively, LDC could just sell off lots of green space – particularly in North Lichfield, not around Boley obviously – and get developers to build on it.
    That should rake in a few quid.

  3. Thankfully Megan HS2 will not be financed by local governments so, while I have no argument with your denigration of it, it is not relevant to local finance.
    Your comment Scribbler is, however, pertinent. The rates income will be considerably increased during this timespan. The current and proposed building programme will ensure that. The loss of rates from business premises as the centre closes down along with the demise of tourism will, of course, offset this to some extent.
    They will probably resort to the tried and tested recourse of charging us more and providing less. Why change a winning formula? O! And more houses of course!

  4. Would LDC Finance care to estimate the “sub” to the Garrick both for last year & this year? Are they talking with Freedom Leisure to get them to take over? – same as disaster at Stafford Gatehouse? Watch this space.

  5. Scribbler I am indeed honoured and I am blushing. Philip yes, I thought it was a good entrance to making a point hahaha. Any which way. To keep the conversation going.

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