The Executive Board of Oxford City Council will be examining the draft budget for 2017/18 at its next meeting on 15 December.
Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader and Board Member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health, said: “Next year will continue to be a financially difficult one for local government, but in Oxford we are well placed to ensure that the council will deliver a budget that not only protects services, but also aims to enhance our economy and care for the vulnerable in the city.”
Oxford has seen successive cut backs in money from the Government. In 2013/14 the Council received over £9million in Government grant. That is likely to shrink to £1.5 million next year and totally disappear by 2019/20.
Despite this, the draft budget proposes no major reductions in service, delivery of extra income and efficiencies, a focus on the city’s economy, support for the homeless, investment in housing and non-implementation of the Government’s Pay to Stay proposals. On top of this, the proposals will ensure that the budget remains balanced over the next four years
Cllr Turner added: “Whilst the County Council has reduced its funding for homeless hostels, the City Council is proposing to continue to exceed its statutory obligations to support those who are homeless. We will do this by maintaining our own funding for homelessness prevention work in full, as well as investing £10 million in new temporary accommodation.
“This budget represents our best efforts, in difficult financial circumstances, to maintain frontline services, especially for the most vulnerable, invest in our assets, and avoid compulsory redundancies amongst our excellent workforce.”
The City Executive Board meeting takes place at 5pm on 15 December at Oxford Town Hall. The meeting comes ahead of consultation through December and January that will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the budget proposals. The final draft budget will go to Full Council for approval on 20 February.