Residents’ priorities to be sought amid four-year £4.5m budget gap at Mansfield Council
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The authority has confirmed the major shortfall in its finances following pressures including inflation and fuel costs.
It says it has been able to “successfully manage” its books, despite uncertainties over Government funding.
However, it says uncertainties over when inflation will ease, increasing interest rates, rising wages and high energy, fuel and material costs, are causing a strain.
This is on top of increased demand for its service due to the cost-of-living crisis which has meant the authority needs to “target and prioritise” its finances.
It expects at least £4.5m must be found across the next four annual budgets to balance its books, working out at about £1.125m per year from now until 2027.
Now it plans to launch a three-week consultation from September 15, asking residents about their priorities, so it can begin to plan savings.
It would then be used to shape the council’s budget for the 2024/25 financial year, which is currently being drawn up and will be approved in January.
In a report, Helen Sisson, council marketing and communications manager, said: “In the current climate, the council must target and prioritise its finances.
“Between now and 2027, the council must find savings of at least £4.5m to achieve a balanced budget and deliver our financial commitments.
“The consultation will provide more information on how the council is funded, how it spends money on services and suggest ways in which we can meet the budget gap by 2027.
“In making the changes to service provision the council will be in a stronger and more viable position for the future.”
Coun Craig Whitby, deputy Mansfield mayor and council portfolio holder for corporate and finance, is asked to ap prove the consultation this week.
Once approved surveys – asking residents to prioritise services and share their views on potential service cuts – will be available at mansfield.gov.uk, with paper copies and alternative formats available on request.
The authority’s overview and scrutiny corporate resources committee will be presented with the results in November.