There is only fact that is certain with Council finances, and that is the amount of money (revenue) available to the Council to spend each year ( exc. schools)
No one knows , as it is not recorded, or monitored ( based on actual outturn):
- How much it might have increased by, year on year, for inflation, or other outside pressures.
- How much inefficiency there was in the budget in 2010 that could have been removed, without affecting services.
Any numbers quoting cumulative cuts, since 2010, are not substantiated by auditable numbers.
Most likely position:
- Maintaining total budgets at a constant level will create pressures in the Adult Social Care / Children Services ( not schools) sector. This is 70% of the total non-school spend.
- The more highly publicised and visible “cuts” imposed by the Council, were choices made by the leadership and could have been avoided. Together they represented 1.5% (£3m) of the total budget, including:
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- Voluntary Sector Grants
- Derby Advice
- Between Nov 2017 and Jan 2018, the Council found savings in the budget, amounting to 2.4% (£5.3m), due to a change in Treasury Management policy and accounting errors, . None or this was used to save/ re-instate any of the above. They were spent on senior management and preferred alternative projects.
There is no evidence that budgets have been cut by £80m, or higher numbers that have been quoted, upwards of £150m. Beware smoke and mirrors, and dodgy accounting!
The element of the total budget which comes from Central Govt which has been cut significantly, is the RED bar, Revenue Support Grant. This has been progressively replaced by retained business rates, specific grants from Central Govt, and Council Tax.