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In the news: Cabinet acknowledges financial challenges in regular review of financial strategy

Councillors reviewed and acknowledged details of a future budget gap, during a review of the medium term financial strategy at a meeting of Basildon Council's Cabinet on Thursday 13 July.

The Cabinet was presented with a report on the council's medium term financial strategy, which identified a budget gap of £1.5million in 2024/25, rising to £3.1million by 2026/27. The budget gap is defined as the difference between the cost of providing services at their current level, and the expected level of funding the council will have access to that year. 

Local government finance continues to experience external pressures, such as the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and inflationary pressures, which continue to put pressure on public services. Basildon Council is not immune to these challenges, and has had to make difficult decisions in recent years to ensure local people can continue to access the services they need. 

As the council enters its annual budget setting process, it will look at ways in which the council can mitigate the budget gap, by generating additional income or seeking efficiencies through service modernisation. Residents will be asked for their views during the annual budget consultation, launching in late July. 

Councillor Stuart Sullivan, Cabinet Member for Resources and Commercial, said: "We understand the pressure local people are feeling, and the council is not immune to these financial challenges. 

"The robust and effective management of our resources provides a sound financial base for the council to work from when setting its budget each year. We will continue to monitor our financial arrangements carefully, as well as resident feedback from the upcoming budget consultation, when setting out our budget for next year and beyond. 

"We will continue to maximise the resources available to us, and make decisions where necessary to protect the services residents depend on." 

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Published 17 July 2023