Trafford Conservatives confirm SIXTH successive Council Tax FREEZE and record £10.3m income generation in budget 2016/17

Trafford Conservatives, the ruling Group on Trafford Council, have confirmed a sixth successive Council Tax freeze for non-social care services and significant investment in services, as the Council is expected to set its budget for the 2016/17 financial year on Wednesday evening.

In order to deliver a balanced budget, savings of £22.6m have been brought forward, with over two thirds being delivered from additional income and efficiencies helping to protect services and alleviate the need to otherwise reduce spending. This will be the twelfth successive year, under Conservative control that Trafford Council has delivered a balanced and sustainable budget.

Through growth in the council tax base, business rates, additional charges for some services and the Manchester Airport dividend over £10.3m in additional income is being raised, a record amount and in line with Trafford Conservatives continued drive to support economic growth and development.
Under Conservative-control, Trafford Council continues to set its budget to support those who need our help the most and this year will levy the Adult Social Care precept, raising an additional £1.6m to support vulnerable adults, as part of an overall investment of nearly £3.1m.

A themed approach has been adopted to set the Council’s 2016/17 budget, as follows:

  • Maximising Income – maximising income from our services, encouraging growth in housing and business in the borough, generating income from assets.
  • Working smarter – looking at the way things are done such as redesign of the workforce and using technology to enhance efficiency and reduce demand
  • Buying better – working with our partners and suppliers to ensure we get best value for every taxpayer pound we spend
  • Eligibility and access – continuing to review current care packages and apply to all new applications the reshaping social care policy to support those who need our help the most, utilising equipment and assistive technology and adaptations
  • Joining Up and Working Together – looking at how we work with other councils and public sector bodies to remove duplication, and in particular looking at how community health and social care services are delivered for adults in Trafford
  • Promoting Independence – helping people to help themselves, through our care strategy.

As part of a Conservative commitment to focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t, a number of investments will be made in communities across Trafford totalling £6.7m including:

  • Care services for children and adults will see additional resources of £3.1m for increasing demand and costs. This is split between £2.2m for children and £0.8m for adults.
  • In addition, an allowance of £2.4m has been made for the cost of the introduction of the new Living Wage, which will particularly affect the care market.
  • Additional investment related to duties contained within the Care Act of £0.8m
  • Investment of £75k in Sale West and Old Trafford Youth Centres

When taking difficult spending decisions, local Conservatives do so with a firm commitment to reduce costs and improve services, and over the last 12 months the Council has:

  • Created a fully integrated Children’s Service for education, health and social care
  • Received the only Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating for children leaving care
  • Developed innovative proposals to establish a Youth Trust to ensure continued youth provision in the borough
  • Successfully implemented the One Trafford Partnership with Amey
  • Launched Trafford Leisure as a new Community Interest Company
  • Achieved one of the country’s highest inspection ratings from HMI Probation for its Youth Offending Services

Trafford Conservatives have also confirmed that their budget proposals for the 2016/17 financial year do not require any further savings from Trafford Leisure and protected our contribution to the Youth Trust, libraries and school crossing patrols.

The Council will also set a Capital Programme of £43.7m for 2016/17.

Conservative Leader of the Council, Cllr Sean Anstee said:
Under Conservative control, Trafford Council is working to ensure that Trafford is the most prosperous, diverse and economically successful place in Greater Manchester, creating and sustaining employment, helping local businesses to grow and investing in the things that are important to our communities.

This budget builds on that vision and we have focused relentlessly on maximising income and efficiency to enable continued delivery of services that are important to our residents, alongside supporting working families and those on fixed incomes by delivering a sixth successive Council Tax freeze for non-social care services.

I am clear the Council will continue to focus on what it can do, rather than what it can’t as we take advantage of the opportunities devolution across Greater Manchester presents, and with a clear record of achievement to date.

Conservative Executive Member for Finance, Cllr Patrick Myers said:
Trafford Conservatives have a track record of delivering balanced and sustainable budgets, unlike the opposition Labour party, who for the last three financial years have failed to even set out a viable alternative. It is clear that the Labour party pose the biggest risk to the long-term prosperity of Trafford.