Birmingham City Council 2015 Budget Consultation

Closed 12 Jan 2015

Opened 10 Dec 2014

Feedback Updated 12 Mar 2015

We Asked

Which services were important to you and your family, what do you think the council should stop doing, what are your most important concerns about the budget proposals, where else savings could be made and

You Said

Consultation Feedback – Key Concerns The key concerns expressed in the consultation feedback included: •Community based support services for people with disabilities and mental health problems •Children’s safeguarding and children and young people services •Cuts to welfare and advice services •Reductions in open air sports and play facilities •The Library of Birmingham and community libraries •Birmingham Museums Trust (and Art Gallery)

We Did

Consultation Feedback - Our Response The council has thoroughly reviewed all of the responses to the consultation. The full report on the consultation can be found on the budgetviews page of the council’s website. In response, we are undertaking the following measures: •Services for people with disabilities and mental health problems: consultees were concerned about these proposals, and in particular the risks of reducing preventative and early intervention services (see above). We have responded to the concerns raised through the consultation by reducing the savings proposal to Third Sector Commissioning by £618K and the savings proposal to Supporting People by 400K. •Home adaptations: responses on BeHeard (our on-line consultation portal) stressed the importance of the support provided to people in arranging these. In response, we have removed the proposal for cuts to this team. •Child protection: consultees strongly supported our priority of protecting vulnerable children. We are increasing our further investment in these services to £21.5m from 2015/16. •Young people and careers: consultees were concerned about youth unemployment and access to training and education opportunities. We are implementing a new ‘youth offer’ to ensure that every young person in the city has the opportunity of a job, training or education within four months. • Welfare and advice: consultees emphasised the importance of advice services, particularly given the cuts and complications introduced by central government changes. We are now proposing a lower cut to these services, to give us time to develop a new joint ‘advice service offer’ with Third Sector partners from the start of 2016. •Pitches and sports playing fields – there was concern about plans to reduce city-wide cricket and football pitches and the possibility of unattached school playing fields being sold. With cricket pitches the savings will be achieved through increased fees and charges and a contributions from the English Cricket Board, the Birmingham Cricket League and the Football Association. •Libraries: there was significant public concern about the proposals around the Library of Birmingham. Whilst the scale of Government cuts means that we do need to reduce substantially the opening hours of this service, we have changed the proposals to mitigate the impacts on specialist collections and to increase support to child literacy compared to the initial proposals. We are proposing to introduce charges for the music service, to enable us to keep some of the specialist staff in this area. We will also be pursuing opportunities for additional funding from partners. • Museums: an online petition and comments in the consultation process emphasised public support for the Birmingham Museums. Whilst the Museum Trust is independent of BCC, we are committed to helping them restructure to enable a financially sustainable future with a one year reduction in proposed cuts to assist with this transformation. • Business Improvement Districts: we recognise the importance of these collaborations with business in local areas, and have amended our proposals to modify the collection charges to BIDs to reduce the cost of administration to BIDs with lower levels of income. • Car parks: there was some concern at public meetings about proposals around disposing of some car parks and starting to charge for parking at some parks. In response we are now introducing more modest charges and planning to phase their introduction. • CCTV: partners including the Police expressed concern about the budget proposals. We have therefore deferred the planned saving in this area whilst we explore the potential for new arrangements with partners. • City-region working: almost all consultation comments supported greater collaboration and the creation of new decision-making structures at a city region level for strategic issues, such as economic development. We are continuing to develop a Combined Authority with partners in the Black Country, Greater Birmingham and elsewhere.

Overview

2015/16 Budget Consultation: Make sure you have a say

Budget cuts and other financial pressures mean that Birmingham City Council has less money to spend on service delivery in the coming year and in future years. This means reductions in our services and in the number of people we employ to deliver them.

Our budget consultation paper and the accompanying fact sheets detail the proposals we have come up with to meet this challenge. These have been informed by the conclusions from an intensive review of all services undertaken over the past year.

The proposals set out – service-by-service – where we believe savings can be made, so you can give us your views as part of the formal consultation.

Specific groups of service users are also being consulted where appropriate.

The online survey includes questions about

  • Which services you think are important
  • Your views on next year’s Council Tax
  • Your views and concerns about the budget proposals.

You can choose whether to comment on all of these questions, or just on a few.

Why We Are Consulting

Consultation is being carried out to ensure council's decision-makers are fully informed of relevant concerns before final decisions are made.

What Happens Next

Your views will be fed back to Council Members to inform their decision on the budget in March 2015.

Areas

  • CITY-WIDE

Audiences

  • All residents
  • Public Sector Bodies
  • Businesses
  • Faith groups
  • Community groups
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Staff
  • Service user groups
  • Newly arrived groups

Interests

  • Spending
  • Care & Support for Adults
  • Children & Young People
  • Older people issues
  • Voluntary Sector
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Crime & Community Safety
  • Arts & Culture
  • Libraries
  • Sport & Keep Fit
  • Parks & Green Spaces
  • Children’s Centres
  • Early Years
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Planning
  • Regeneration
  • Transport (Including Walking)
  • Housing
  • Homelessness
  • Business
  • Communications/Technology
  • Training
  • Employment
  • Health Services
  • parks
  • City Centre Parking
  • Travel