Stockport’s Lib Dem Cabinet address the difficult financial climate in local government

Following the recent issue of a Section 114 notice by Birmingham City Council signalling their effective bankruptcy, last night Stockport’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet agreed its first response to the difficult financial climate currently facing local government.

With the need to find almost £11m of savings or additional income for the next financial year, and a cumulative total of just over £44m by 2027/28, work has already started towards the budget which will need to be agreed by the Full Council in late February.

Speaking after the Cabinet Meeting, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Council, said: “Like all councils, we face significant financial challenges as a result of local government funding not keeping pace with the increased demand for services as well as the inflationary and national economic impacts on our costs. When people are coming up to me in the street and asking whether Stockport will be the next Birmingham, you know council finances are part of the public conversation like never before.

“We have a very strong tradition in Stockport of financial resilience and robustness. Councillors of all political stripes know that we have to work together and take the very difficult decisions needed to balance our books, rather than shy away from those decisions or try to gamble our way out of any deficit through speculative investments. We take seriously our role as custodian of public money and delivering best value.

“We also remain ambitious for Stockport in the face of these challenges. Our strong reputation means we have the ability to draw in one-off funding for regeneration schemes such as the Mayoral Development Corporation and the Transport Interchange, bringing money into our local economy and improvements to our borough.”

Cllr Jilly Julian, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the council’s budget, added: “Our Borough Treasurer has confirmed that it is highly unlikely that Stockport would need to issue a Section 114 notice. This is due to the robustness of our approach and the way all councillors work together on the council’s budget to deliver the best outcomes for the whole of Stockport.

“Some 70% of the council’s budget is now devoted to demand-led services, such as adult and children’s social care. We await the government’s long-promised solution to funding social care and we agree wholeheartedly with the Local Government Association that far more funds need to be provided to help us cope with rising costs and demand. In the absence of that extra money, we will do what is needed to deliver a balanced budget and ensure our continued financial robustness.”

The reports outlining the scale of the financial challenge the council faces and the initial responses of the Liberal Democrat Cabinet can be found here:

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply