'A budget for growth’ - Council’s proposal for 2020/21 budget
Wakefield Council’s new leadership team is presenting a budget for growth, investing in the district and its residents.
In their first budget the Leader,
Cllr Denise Jeffery and Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Hemingway are proposing to
invest a revenue budget of over £248m that will ensure no cuts to frontline
services; delivering on their commitment to support residents and the district
An updated capital investment programme will also see £416m spent over the next
three years on schemes that include improvements to the district’s roads,
energy saving street lighting, schools, a new leisure facility and the
Council’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Commenting on the proposals, Cllr Denise Jeffery said: “My Cabinet and I care
about our residents, our communities and our district. We want to deliver
investment that will support everyone to have the best quality of life and
create a vibrant place where people and businesses thrive, now and in the
“Tackling poverty is at the forefront of our agenda. Increased living costs and
continued changes to welfare benefits mean that many of our residents need us
more than ever now. We have a strong track record in supporting people who need
our help but will be significantly increasing our efforts this year by
allocating almost £1million to support people to get out of poverty, because in
this district, I believe everyone should get the chance to thrive.”
“There will be no cuts to frontline services and our intention is to increase
and improve services wherever possible.
“Almost 2000 people shared their views in the budget survey and we thank
everyone for taking the time to do this. We have listened, and what matters
most to residents is firmly on our agenda. The revenue and capital budget will
see some of the biggest sums invested in the areas that people feel are
important. This includes keeping the district’s streets and neighbourhoods
clean, looking after adults and children, and maintaining our roads.
“We are also proposing to invest around £700,000 in enforcement to strengthen
our ability to tackle anti-social behaviour and other issues, as we know this matters
to many people.”
The 2020/21 budget will see £18m invested to support the Council’s pledge to be
carbon neutral by 2030, a commitment made in May 2019 when Wakefield Council
declared a Climate Emergency.
The Deputy Leader, Cllr Jack Hemingway, who also has political responsibility
for Climate Change explained: “Under our leadership we are determined that
Wakefield Council will play its part in protecting the environment for
generations to come. What we do now and over the next few years will have a
fundamental impact on our future.
“The Council will have to work differently and we will need to be prepared to
make some bold decisions.
“This investment will help support some of the early but significant changes we
need to make, as well as ensuring we can continue and improve work on our parks
and green spaces, improving the district’s air quality and environment.”
To deliver a balanced budget Wakefield Council is tackling a gap of £20.9m in
2020/21. The budget challenge is caused by risings costs, like inflation, and a
continued significant demand for services that look after some of the
district’s most vulnerable younger and older people.
Wakefield Council will deliver over £9m of efficiencies, savings and additional
income to help meet the budget gap. The district’s excellent housing growth
will also help tackle the challenge, generating an extra £2.2m of additional
An extra £4m of reserves are also being prudently released to support the
district and minimise the impact of the budget gap on residents.
A Council Tax increase of 1.99% and an Adult Social Care Precept of 2% is being
proposed for 2020/21. This would make the total increase 3.99% - an extra 71p
per week for a Band A property.
Cllr Denise Jeffery said: “We are bitterly disappointed that the Government
continues to fail our older and vulnerable people. We absolutely need the
long-term and sustainable solution they have promised so that all local
authorities, and our NHS partners, can meet the increasingly complex care needs
of our aging population. The Government’s stop-gap fix means that Council tax
payers are being asked, yet again, for a financial contribution.
“Many of those who took apart in the budget survey understood the need to
increase charges if we are to continue our services and look after our most
vulnerable. Despite the proposed increase we believe Wakefield will still have
one of the lowest Council Tax levels in West Yorkshire.
“Through this budget, and the caring approach that our Council will adopt, we
will continue to pull together to do our very best, with the resources
available to us, to improve the lives of the district’s residents.”
The budget proposals for 2020/21 can be found in full at https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/budget-and-spending/council-budget
The budget will be discussed at Council’s Cabinet meeting on 11 February
starting at 10.30am followed by Budget Council on 26 February at 2pm. Both
meetings can be viewed live or later at www.wakefield.gov.uk/livestream