Shropshire Council is conducting a public consultation as it considers options to resolve its £50 million funding gap. It finds itself in an unsustainable financial situation after an unsuccessful settlement from central government.
Although Shropshire Council’s total annual budget is £554m, up to 85% is spent on providing statutory services that offer very limited opportunities for budget savings and are highly likely to require increased financial support in future years. This means that the bulk of the proposed cuts will disproportionately fall on its non-statutory expenditure.
Councillor Butler, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for resources, has warned that highways, rubbish collections, swimming pools, libraries, and other services, could all face cuts in light of the situation.
In addition Shropshire Council’s “general reserves”, that is, money which the council could use to cover any unexpected increase in costs or decrease in revenues – will be used to plug the deficit in the 2022/23 financial year, effectively reducing them to zero. This will leave Shropshire Council unusually susceptible to any repetition of financial shocks such as the Covid-19 pandemic or the recent flooding incidents.
Impact on Church Stretton
The scale and rapidity of the proposed cuts are likely to have an impact on many aspects of Church Stretton’s Shropshire Council run services. Libraries, leisure centres, and certain aspects of adult care and children’s services, are all scheduled for budget reductions.
Please take 5 mins to respond to Shropshire Council’s online survey (click here). If there are parts of the survey that you do not feel able to comment on, you can skip those questions but still leave comments on the given area. The consultation closes on 16th February 2022.