Next year’s budget plans and Council Tax freeze published for consultation

budget conversationConsultation will start today on Bristol City Council’s draft budget for 2012/13. These proposals are the second step towards reducing spending to £330 million by 2014/15.

Council Leader Barbara Janke said: “Last year Bristol City Council found that with skill and good planning we were able to make £28 million of savings without having to slash back frontline services, as many authorities felt obliged to do, and without having to make large numbers of staff redundant.

“This year, with a net figure of around another £21 million in savings to find, the task has been harder.  The council is slimmer and leaner than it was before.  It is changing and, we hope, becoming more responsive to the needs of the people of Bristol.  The change will continue.  For next year the largest cut – around £8 million – has been in the council’s central organisation.

“In an uncertain world, though, we know we have to provide stability, where this is possible. For a second year running, we will be freezing council tax.  This will be good news to the many elderly pensioners and families on low incomes who face enough challenges to their own budgets without facing a council tax hike.

“However, large numbers of vulnerable people in Bristol are dependent on our services.  The proposals seek to protect services wherever possible – even though this may sometimes mean a change in the way services are provided.  Nowhere is this more the case than in the areas of social care and children and young people’s services, where society’s needs and government policy are forcing the pace of change.”

This detailed set of proposals is among the first published by any local authority in the UK this year. This allows for consultation ahead of final proposals being published in mid January, for recommendation by the Cabinet on 26th January, and decision by full Council on 28th February.

Visit the budget conversation website and have your say

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About Consultation Team

Ask Bristol from Bristol City Council provides a range of e-participation tools to make it easier for citizens to get involved in local democracy and raise issues with the council. Ask Bristol includes: webcasting; a consultation finder listing all the council's consultation in one place on the web; a wordpress-powered discussion site and online polling and surveys