Walsall Council to consult on budget for 2023-24
The public is invited to have their say on the budget proposals for 2023-24.
Walsall Council is consulting the public on its draft balanced budget for 2023-24, which includes proposals for spending, efficiencies and council tax.
To read the budget proposals and take part in the consultation, please visit www.walsall.gov.uk/budgethaveyoursay Alternatively, you can email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Budget Consultation, Walsall Council, Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1TP.
The consultation will run from Thursday 15 December 2022 to Sunday 15 January 2023. Outcomes and recommendations from the consultation will be considered and the final budget will be presented to Cabinet on Wednesday 8 February 2023, before full Council considers and approves the budget on Thursday 23 February 2023.
The Council is consulting on:
- A proposed increase of 2.99% for council tax. This is in line with Government referendum limits announced in the Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November 2022, not including the Adult Social Care Precept of an additional 2%, giving local authorities flexibility of increasing council tax by up to a total of 4.99% In 2023-24, the average Band D Council Tax will be £1,985.48, an increase of 16 pence per day.
- The option of a 2% increase for the Adult Social Care Precept, permitted by the Autumn Statement. The administration is not minded to increase the council tax for this but would like residents’ views.
This budget details significant investment of £50.52 million of revenue growth and investment into council services and operations in 2023/24. This is known as the revenue budget and is mainly funded by government grants and the collection of council tax and business rates.
As a local authority, Walsall Council has a statutory duty to deliver specific services within the Borough for all people and communities in Walsall. This includes a wide range of core services such as refuse collection and recycling, roads, planning applications, leisure, education, libraries and countryside services. A large proportion of the budget is spent on care services for adults and children.
Also outlined in the budget is the draft capital programme for 2023/24, which totals £110.09 million and contains significant investment into highways, education and into adult social care and housing to support vulnerable households through the provision of aids and adaptations.
Over the four years to 2026/27, significant capital investment of about £318 million is planned for the Borough including:
- Schools funding - £81 million.
- Highways maintenance and lighting - 37 million.
- Health and safety works - £4 million.
- Waste initiatives - £21 million.
- Enterprise Zones - c. £10 million.
- High Streets Fund - c £28 million.
- Towns Deal - £35 million.
- Willenhall Masterplan - £6 million.
- Disabled facilities funding - c. £19 million.
- IT infrastructure - £9 million.
- Funding for development opportunities - £50 million (subject to business case approval).
The budget also sets some £16.3 million of savings and efficiencies including £1.2 million of proposed policy savings and efficiencies over the next year. They include:
- Outsourcing of the mobile/home library service.
- Expiry of the Citizens Advice Bureau Grant.
- Outsourcing of the Outdoor Pursuits Service.
- Increased bulky waste charges from £10 to £30 for up to three items, £50 for four to six items and £70 for seven to nine items.
- Reduction in the frequency of grass cutting.
- Rewilding of all urban grassed areas.
- A review of parking permits and charges, including staffing, residents and businesses.
- Part night lighting to reduce energy consumption by 20%
- Garden waste collection schedule review from May to November, continuing on a fortnightly basis.
- A modified winter maintenance service.
“ In what has been a particularly challenging year, Walsall Council’s priority is to assist with the struggle that so many families are facing whilst delivering a balanced budget for 2023/24. Alongside post COVID-19 recovery and increases in demand on many of our services, we’ve experienced the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation and energy bills. We know that many of our residents are finding it hard, so our proposals have taken this into account, and we have tried to keep the council tax increase as low as possible.
The Council exists to serve the people and communities of Walsall, by representing and working with them to protect and improve the quality of life for all, particularly the most vulnerable. If you live, work, study, visit or do business in the Borough, please have your say in this consultation as we want to hear your views on this draft budget. “
Notes to editors
The full report containing the approved business plan and financial plan for the period 2023/24 incorporating the 2023/24 revenue budget is now available to view on the Council’s Committee Management and Information System (CMIS). https://cmispublic.walsall.gov.uk/cmis/Meetings/tabid/70/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/397/Meeting/3584/Committee/460/Default.aspx
This report covers the four-year period 2023/24 to 2026/27 and includes an update on the medium-term financial outlook, savings proposals identified to deliver a balanced budget, a draft capital programme for 2023/24 to 2026/27, and the timeline for the setting of the revenue budget and capital programme, including stakeholder consultation and equality impact assessments (where required).
Budget setting timetable of key reporting dates:
- Public and statutory consultation on draft budget proposals commencing Thursday 15 December 2022 to Sunday 15 January 2023.
- Overview and Scrutiny Committees will receive the draft revenue and capital budget proposals with subsequent feedback to Cabinet on 8 February 2022.
- Budget briefings for political groups and independent members, as required.
- Council Tax base to be approved by the S151 Officer by January 2023.
- Receipt of the final settlement in late January/early February 2023.
- Recommendation of the final budget to Council by Cabinet on 8 February 2023.
- Council set the final budget envelope (statutory determinations) and Council Tax and capital programme on 23 February 2023.
For more information about the Council’s vision, values and key areas of focus, please read Walsall Council’s Plan 2022-25 - https://go.walsall.gov.uk/your-council/decision-making-in-walsall-borough/walsall-councils-policy-framework/corporate-plan