Source: City of Sunderland
Residents, businesses and community groups are being asked for views on what could be the next City Council budget.
The council provides more than 600 services to over 277,000 residents. It is having to save a further £14m next year on top of the £315m it has already removed from budgets since 2010.
At the same time it is also having to consider a five per cent council tax rise in line with Government assumptions for councils across the country.
For the majority of households in Sunderland this would mean paying less than £1 a week extra next year for city services.
The council continues to face the challenges of Covid-19, increasing demand for services such as adult social care, and cost pressures on services because of inflation. Reviews are continuing for more service efficiencies and the council is considering the use of its reserves to help balance the next budget.
A major investment programme to bring in more new homes, jobs, businesses and improve infrastructure is also being proposed.
You can complete the budget survey here: Lets Talk Budget.
If you would like support completing the survey, or would like a paper copy of the survey please contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Stewart said: “Over the past two years we have asked detailed questions about a range of council services through our Let’s Talk resident engagement campaign.
“This has looked at what is important to you in Sunderland and your views about core council services. Thank you if you have participated in these engagement activities.
“The council has had to make unprecedented budget cuts in recent years, as more than £315m has been taken out of Sunderland under Government austerity programmes.
“Even with these cuts and extra income from the proposed council tax increase of five per cent, the revenue budget will still not be balanced. This requires us to use approximately £8.1m of financial reserves to balance our books.
“These reserves have been built up over recent years to give us this flexibility in managing our finances. However, it is important to remember that these reserves can only be used once so we can’t rely on them every year. Please give us your views.”
Consultation runs to Thursday 14 January, and will help inform final proposals at the February Cabinet meeting before the budget is decided in March.
All data collected from the survey is anonymous and not shared outside of the council.