Express & Star

Sandwell Council consulting further with residents on budget cuts

Sandwell Council is carrying out further consultation with the public on how to make savings to it budget over the coming years.

Last updated
SANDWELL PIC MNA PIC DAVID HAMILTON PIC EXPRESS AND STAR 3/9/2019 STOCK GV Exterior at Sandwell Council House, Oldbury..

An initial consultation took place earlier this year – now residents, businesses and voluntary organisations are invited to make their views further known on where the council can save money.

The council's deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and resources, Councillor Bob Piper, said they had made £30 million of savings in the last two years and must make savings of £13m to ensure the budget is balanced for the next financial year

He said: “The council is facing similar pressure to residents from inflation and rising costs.

"The cost of living emergency is also creating more demand for some of our services. This means difficult decisions need to be made when the council sets its budget. ​

“We currently spend around £317 mllion each year on our day-to-day services, such as bin collections, street cleansing, running libraries and leisure centres. And around 60 per-cent of our budget funds vital services for adult social care and looking after vulnerable children.

“We must meet our legal requirements, but we can make choices in how we deliver some of these services.

“Sandwell is no different to other councils – we all face significant financial pressures. Although we are in a fortunate position to have options to achieve a balanced budget, this still means difficult decisions will need to be made.

“We need to use our limited resources as efficiently as we can, which means we have to work even harder to continue to deliver services and make the money go further for the years ahead.

“The majority of these savings must be sustainable – so we can continue making them over the coming years, not just next year.”

The council's initial budget consultation over the summer saw residents ranking their priorities for how the council could achieve savings or increase income.

Some of the top priorities identified were selling or developing council buildings, stopping or reducing non-essential services, charging more for some paid-for services and introducing more charging for non-essential services.

Councillor Piper added:: “It’s important to us that residents are consulted on how the council makes these vital savings.

“When the consultation closes, we will consider the responses we receive and bring a further report back to the council’s cabinet, before setting our budget in early 2024."

To take part in the further consultation, fill in the online survey at before the deadline of January 2, 2024.