Wakefield’s 2024/25 budget proposals

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Wakefield Council’s proposal to balance its 2024/25 budget has been published, giving people the opportunity to share their views.  

The budget will help deliver a new two-year plan which sets out Wakefield’s ambition to improve the lives of residents, and make sure the district has a sustainable future.  

Like nearly every Council in the country, there’s a significant gap between what Wakefield needs to deliver local services and the income it receives from Government. 

The ‘Building a Fairer Future’ plan focuses the Council’s limited resources on key priorities over the next two years up to 2026. 

Wakefield’s Leader, Cllr Denise Jeffery, explains the Council’s approach to meeting its £33.1m budget gap and delivering for the district. 

“We’re not immune from the very significant challenges facing all Councils. But we’ve managed our finances responsibly in recent years. And we know what needs to be done to continue to be sustainable into the future.
“Our plan, underpinned by the budget, helps to set out how we are going to meet this challenge responsibly, sustainably and fairly. 

“We’re continuing to use the resources we have to make the maximum impact possible. We know our communities need us more than ever before - the huge increase in demand for children and adult social care services shows us that. 

“We’ll never lose sight of everyone that relies on us. We’re committed to putting vulnerable people across Wakefield first. And we’ll carry on supporting our residents and businesses so that we can all live in a place we’re proud of.” 

Cllr Denise Jeffery

Leader of Wakefield Council

Cllr Denise Jeffery

Uncertainty from Government about longer-term funding means that future years are looking very challenging.
The new plan aims to tackle this head on by creating a Future Council. This will help make Wakefield more efficient, providing even better value for money for local people in a district which already has the second-lowest Council Tax in West Yorkshire.
The 2024/25 budget report will be discussed by the Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 16 January. It outlines proposals to make savings and efficiencies totalling over £21m. As well as generating £1.4m from additional income from housing growth and an extra £1.6m from business growth.

Adult social care services would be supported by an extra £3.5m from a 2% precept, costing a Band A property 42p more per week. And it’s also proposed to raise an additional £5.2m by increasing Council Tax by 2.99% adding 63p per week to Band A.
The Government assumed that all Councils will apply the maximum Council Tax increase and the Adult Social Care Precept when deciding how much money to give Local Government to fund their services in 2024/25. 

“This Government have presided over 14 years of chronic underfunding of local Council services, and that is having an impact on all of our lives every day. 

“Any extra money we are given goes nowhere near covering the cost of inflation and rising demand for our services, particularly in social care. This inevitably means more pressure on the Council budget and on local taxpayers.
“The Government’s funding model makes it clear that Councils are expected to increase Council Tax if services are to survive. We know this is yet another financial ask of residents, but it’s one we have to make.”  

Cllr Jack Hemingway

Deputy Leader of Wakefield Council

Cllr Jack Hemingway

The consultation on the 2024/25 budget proposals is now open. And runs until 28 January. Please complete it at https://eu.surveymonkey.com/r/HaveYourSayBudget24-25
Once feedback from the consultation has been considered, the final budget proposals will be reported to Cabinet in February and then formally approved at a special meeting of the full Council on 28 February. 

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