Have your say on council's budget saving plans

People are being asked to have their say on Oldham Council's plans to make more than £8 million in budget savings in the next financial year. 

The authority says the proposals for 2021/22 aim to make savings across a range of areas, including back office functions, regeneration strategies, social care, sports and leisure and customer services.  

They add that while "difficult decisions" will have to be made, all budget proposals have been devised to maximise value for money, and they will "work hard to minimise the impact on communities and service users". 

Cllr Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Oldham Council’s budget has been significantly impacted by the austerity agenda, with budget reductions of over £200m having to be implemented over the last decade.   

“Unfortunately, due to the impact of the Coronavirus and an increased demand for services, we are again in a position where we are having to further reduce our spending.   

“In total we are now aiming to find £30 million in budget reductions to address the financial challenges the Council is facing.   

“The proposals that have been put forward reflect the financial challenge we find ourselves in, but they do not dampen our overall ambition for Oldham.” 

The council says it is looking to reduce its budget by £30 million overall, citing the continuing financial pressures of the coronavirus and increased demand on services. 

They say the exact amount will be finalised when it receives government grant notifications for 2021/22, and other measures to balance the budget will be considered once government funding intentions are known and the budget reduction requirement has been finalised. 

Back in August, the authority said it would be asking staff to consider taking voluntary redundancy as part of a range of cost-cutting measures. 

Cllr Jabbar added: “Balancing our budget is something we are required to do by law, which means this year reductions in spending are unfortunately unavoidable. 

“We have worked hard to put forward a range of proposals which we hope will have the least possible impact on our residents and businesses, bearing in mind the financial pressures we are under. 

“I encourage everyone to let us know what they think about these proposed reductions, which you can do via our consultation website. Please let us know what you think of our proposals, and also suggest alternatives to our ideas where you can.” 

Residents can share their views and submit comments on the savings proposals affecting services at www.oldham.gov.uk/letstalkbudget 

The consultation is now open and will close on 1 February 2021, after which the findings will be considered and final decisions on the proposals will be made. 

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