Delivering Your Priorities for Wolverhampton
Welcome to the City of Wolverhampton Council’s online Budget Simulator. Have you got what it takes to set a balanced budget in the face of ongoing cuts?
Since 2010, the Council has responded to the continued financial challenge by making savings in excess of £235 million due to successive government cuts and increased demand for services. These challenges are set to continue. We are currently forecasting a remaining budget shortfall in the region of £20 million over the next three years up to 2023-2024 and your challenge is to review what we spend and make cuts or raise income to be able to set a balanced budget.
This budget simulator summarises the financial position facing the Council and enables you to suggest how you would go about meeting the financial challenge. It will help inform us where you think we can make reductions to what we spend, whether you think we should try and increase our income, and what you think about increasing council tax. The tool also allows you to inform us where you think we could invest in services that are important to you.
The simulator will ask you to make percentage changes to our current budgets and council tax, and it will interactively show you the impact on our progress towards the £20 million gap based on the choices you make.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this budget simulator.
Since 2010-2011 despite the successive cuts in Council resources, which have led to significant financial challenges, the Council has set a balanced budget in order to deliver vital public services and city amenities. The extent of the financial challenge over the next three years continues to represent the most significant challenge that the Council has ever faced, with reducing resources, growing demand for services and significant cost pressures.
Where does our money come from and where do we spend it?
The Council receives income from Business Rates, Council Tax, Grants and income from fees and charges raised from services that people use. The council use this income to support a wide range of services aligned to our strategic priorities listed below.
The Council has a gross expenditure budget of around £629 million. The majority of the money to support this expenditure comes from specific grants, for example, grants for schools, housing benefits, public health, along with income raised from fees and charges.
The remaining expenditure is the Councils budget requirement, funded from Council Tax, Business Rates and Government Grants. Based on our current assumptions, the forecast budget requirement in 2023-2024 is in the region of £279.5 million. The budget simulator uses this budget requirement as the basis for setting the budget.
Our Council Plan 2019-2024
The City of Wolverhampton is changing. Our Council Plan is an ambitious plan setting out how, by working together, we will delivery the priorities of the people of the city over the next five years.
Our Council Plan, developed with the people of the City of Wolverhampton at its heart, sets out how we will deliver our contribution to Vision 2030 and how we will work with our partners and communities to be a city of opportunity. The plan includes six strategic priorities which come together to deliver the overall Council Plan outcome of ‘Wulfrunians will live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.’ Over the medium term, resources will continue to be aligned to enable the realisation of the Council’s strategic priorities of achieving:
• Children and young people get the best possible start in life
• Well skilled people working in an inclusive economy
• More good jobs and investment in our city
• Better homes for all
• Strong, resilient and healthy communities
• A vibrant, green city we can all be proud of.
About the Budget Simulator
We want to hear from you about your priorities on how you feel we should spend our budget. You may not be aware of the range of services that the Council provides, the budget simulator can help give you a better understanding of these services.
The aim of the tool is to balance the budget. You will see the impact of reducing and increasing the budget available for different services.
The tool is broken down into seven blocks. We have structured the budgets to help you prioritise where you think we should be spending our money.
For more information on our 2020-2021 Final Budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy 2020-2021 to 2023-2024 please visit https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/your-council/corporate-finance/view-councils-savings-proposals/councils-budget-setting-documents-19-february-2020
We will use this data to help us understand what is important to you. The implications that are highlighted as you balance the budget are there only to give you an understanding of the kind of impact that this may have on the service.