Enfield Council wants to hear residents’ views and priorities as it starts the task of setting its budget for 2021/2022, against a backdrop of having to find savings of £28million as reported to the Council’s Cabinet in October.
The Council is operating in extremely uncertain times and is having to continually revise its assumptions and forecasts. There was a further update to Cabinet in December, but the final proposals will be provided in February, after the funding for 2021/22 is confirmed by the Government in the Local Government Finance Settlement later this month.
Since 2010 Enfield Council has had to save £193 million because of Government spending cuts and increasing pressure on services. But despite robust financial planning last year which enabled the Council to effectively manage its finances, the coronavirus pandemic has placed further financial pressure on the borough as Enfield Council worked to support vulnerable residents and businesses.
Residents’ views will help to shape the budgetary decisions the Council is due to make and inform the way the Council will respond to the financial challenges it faces.
Cllr Mary Maguire, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Procurement, said: “We are having to manage our financial position in exceptionally challenging and uncertain times. Our funding is under considerable strain because of issues such as increased costs as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and growing pressure on our services.
“In October and December, we reviewed our financial forecasts and the Council’s Cabinet agreed to proposed savings of £11.115m. But we will still need to make significant savings in 2021/22 and it is only right that residents contribute to that discussion.
“If the Covid-19 Pandemic had not happened, we would only have to make a further £3.075m of savings next year on top of the reductions already proposed.
“However, to deal with the significant difference between our income and expenditure, we face a gap of £17.325m in 2021/22. We will need to make further savings in the years to come, to cover the gap.
“Despite these challenges , we remain hugely ambitious for the borough and will continue to deliver services and initiatives that benefit all Enfield residents.”
Residents can tell us their views by completing the questionnaire, the closing date for the consultation is 5pm on 20 January 2021.