The government offer of a four year funding deal which will provide greater certainty and aid long term planning and management of services, has been accepted by Wiltshire Council.
Central government is offering all local authorities a four year settlement rather than a yearly offer, provided they produce an efficiency plan setting out how they will manage their finances over the four year period.
At full council this week it was agreed to accept the deal, subject to conditions, and the efficiency statement was approved. The statement sets out how Wiltshire will manage its finances to produce a balanced budget each and every year for the four year period.
Further information on the four year deal will be released by government in December with final details reported to full council in February 2017.
The council currently spends around £900m each year on more than 350 services. Savings of £45m will need to be made over the next four years due to reductions in government funding and growth in demand of services.
Dick Tonge, cabinet member for finance said: “We are committed to delivering on our key priorities however we do so against a backdrop of decreasing finances. We constantly have to consider new innovative ways to find the necessary savings and deliver our services. Having the ability to plan our finances for the next four years, rather than yearly, allows us to prepare for the future with fewer surprises.”
Under the four year offer the government funding will fall from £35m to zero in 2019/20 as councils move towards becoming self-funding from council tax receipts and a proportion of business rates. Councils will also be able to use capital receipts from the sale of non-housing assets to fund revenue costs of service reform and transformation made within that period.