Local authorities continue to face serious financial challenges due to the government’s austerity policies.
Since 2010, the City Council has lost almost half its government support grant, and between 2016 and 2019, it will fall by a further £4.4 million and be removed entirely.
The Council has been able to manage these cuts through a successful programme of efficiency savings and increases in the income that we receive. We have been particularly successful in increasing the income from selling our services to outside organisations over the past four years, these efficiency savings and income increases amount to over £13.7million, and a further £5 million has been included in our four year forward budget. This will mean that we can continue to maintain our services to the people of Oxford, avoid staff losses, and maintain a major programme of investment in the city.
Oxford faces particularly acute challenges in housing, and recent government policy changes are requiring us to reshape the strategy that was agreed only 18 months ago. We remain committed to improving the homes that we own with increased energy efficiency and modernisation, and we will continue to fund homelessness prevention at well over £1 million a year. This has an increased importance in the wake of the County Council’s drastic cuts to funding for homeless people. We are also committed to maintaining the £1.5 million budget which supports the voluntary and community organisations across the city, that provide so many valuable services to our residents
The Council Tax for a band D property next year for City Council services will be £284.52. This is an increase of 11 pence per week (1.99%) from last year. This means that City Council services will cost just £5.47 pence per week in 2016-17. Oxfordshire County Council’s tax bill next year at Band D will be £1281.64, including a 2% increase to fund the rising costs of social care. The Thames Valley Police Commissioner will also be making a precept that is collected through your council tax bill.
The City Council’s website provides more details about our services, and information about the city. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Councillor Bob Price
Leader of Oxford City Council