Proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrat and Green Partnership, to stabilise Council’s financial position and invest in frontline services, social care and city’s economic recovery, have been given the go-ahead following agreement at Full Council this evening (25 February).
In the absence of sufficient Government funding, the administration has set out a plan to deliver savings and efficiencies totalling £7.9 million, in order to ensure that crucial council services can be maintained in the difficult year ahead. Recognising the current economic challenges and support needed for local residents, budget proposals set out an increase in total spending by £2.6 million on adult social care and support for children and young people, whilst strategically investing additional resources to protect frontline services and help accelerate the city’s economic recovery.
To continue the work done throughout the pandemic to support local residents and businesses, the 2021/22 budget proposes a £3.5 million Covid Recovery Fund. Recognising that the challenges of Coronavirus will continue well into 2021, this fund will include support for local communities, residents on low incomes, local businesses, mental health support providers, sustainable travel incentives, and more. A detailed list of proposals included in the Covid Recovery Fund can be found here.
The budget proposals also see the Council continue its transformational £600m capital investment programme to accelerate the city’s economic recovery. The Council’s Capital Programme will include investment to progress key regeneration projects, improve the city’s road network and infrastructure, continue efforts to tackle the climate emergency, accelerate the delivery of flood defences, deliver affordable housing across the city and accelerate York’s economic recovery.
Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader of the Council, commented:
“The impact of the pandemic compounded by the Government’s broken promises and decades of underfunding has meant that, like many other local councils, in particular those with social care responsibilities, we were left facing tough decisions setting this year’s budget.
“Our proposals recognise the need to balance the Council’s books in the face of unprecedented challenges, to ensure we can continue providing crucial services which are needed now more than ever. Despite the financial challenges facing the Council, we’re increasing support for adult social care and children and young people, continuing our ambitious programme to tackle climate change, all whilst strategically investing additional resources to protect frontline services and help the city’s economic recovery.
“I now look forward to taking these proposals forward and putting them into action, to continue delivering on resident’s priorities and accelerating a sustainable and inclusive recovery.”