William Eichler 19 January 2024

Oxfordshire CC budget proposals ‘£900,000 short’

Oxfordshire CC budget proposals ‘£900,000 short’   image
Image: Kemal Taner / Shutterstock.com.

Oxfordshire County Council has published proposals to save over £9.8m but is still £900,000 short of what is required for a balanced budget.

The council was facing a budget shortfall of £9.1m but this increased to £11.2m in December when it became clear that grant funding from Government was not as much as anticipated.

Most of the £9.8m of savings will be made through a one-off £3.4m boost from increased tax collection. Organisational measures and a review of potential savings in children services will also contribute £1.5m and £1.1m respectively.

Cllr Dan Levy, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Finance, said: ‘The Government has spoken widely about a 6.5% increase of funding to local government. As we’ve said previously, this was a case of smoke and mirrors. This increase assumed councils would take the maximum council tax rise and includes funding announced this time last year. There was nothing new in this sum at all.

‘Local government as a whole continues to express deep disappointment having already been viewing the second half of the decade with great concern. The government’s dealings with the sector so far this winter did nothing to alleviate those concerns.’

He added: ‘Our track record of responsible financial management means that Oxfordshire County Council has been in a more resilient position than many other authorities. However, the overall position is extremely challenging. Even now we remain £900,000 short of what we need for a balanced budget.’

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