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Budget Consultation 2018 - 2021

2018-2021 budget consultation - Closing soon

We are consulting on our budget for 2018-21. This consultation closes on 28th November - make sure you have your say.

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The Council's budget covers a huge range of services, including schools, roads, parks, social care, cleansing and housing. 

Whilst we don't yet know the exact budget available to us from the Scottish Government (this won't be confirmed until December 2017), we are expecting to have to make savings in the region of £26million by 2021. This is on top of the £37million we have already saved since 2012. 

In forecasting an anticipated savings gap of £26million we have made a number of assumptions. This includes assuming that council tax in our area will continue to rise by three per cent each year, over the next three years (more detail on this can be found at the increasing income section. We have also assumed that our cash grant will recognise the growth in our population and therefore not reduce by more than 2.5 per cent each year.

However, if our grant reduces by more than 2.5 per cent and if we do not increase council tax, then the level of savings needed would be much higher.

This section of the website provides a summary of the proposed savings that have been identified so far to help meet our remaining funding shortfall.

Over the next three years of this budget and beyond we will leave no stone unturned in seeking to find new ways of achieving savings by efficiencies whilst at the same time protecting services.

The final decision on proposals to be taken forward, which will include considering the feedback from residents, staff and other stakeholders, will be agreed by elected members when Council agrees its budget in February 2018.

Striving to protect frontline services

We have been successful so far in off-setting the impact of savings on the majority of frontline services through a determined focus on efficiency, which has modernised and streamlined many of our processes.

Our journey of change and modernisation has already allowed us to meet tough savings targets.  For example, 70 per cent of the savings we needed for 2017/18 came from efficiencies alone.  

Thanks to improving our processes and the hard work of our staff, we have a strong track record in delivering high quality services for our residents, despite the economic challenges we have faced.

Through modernising and redesigning services, particularly as we have harnessed the power of new digital opportunities, we have seen customer service and quality improvements in a variety of service areas - from care of the elderly at home to repair services for council tenants. 

This modernisation of services to make them more cost effective will remain a core focus and whilst we will continue to work smart and drive up efficiencies at every opportunity, this will not be enough to make the savings required. 

Therefore, some of the proposals for consultation do see a potential reduction in some service levels.

Where there is more than one possible way to deliver a saving we have made this clear so that you can let us know your preference. 

Protecting jobs

Over 60 per cent of our staff are also residents of East Renfrewshire, so we know this is an important consultation for our communities.  

Since 2015 our workforce, which currently stands at around 3600 full time equivalent posts (FTE), has reduced by some 209.5 FTE posts as we have modernised and streamlined how we work.  Over the next three years we expect this trend to continue and estimate that we will have around 300 less posts than we do in our current council business. 

The Council hopes to achieve these reductions without the need for compulsory redundancies.

However, new roles will be created and retraining opportunities available as the needs of the Council change.  For example, over the next few years we expect more than 200 new early years support roles will be created as we work to implement new government targets.

Therefore we anticipate that overall we will have around 100 fewer posts by 2021.

Continued future investment

Despite the tough financial climate and our very challenging savings target, we remain committed to significant investment in our local infrastructure. Between 2018 and 2021 we will invest around £77million in ambitious capital schemes. These investments will drive growth, support the delivery of new schools and early years establishments, ensure our exciting City Deal plans are delivered and create new opportunities.

Consultation proposals

Whilst we estimate our funding gap is £26million, we have identified proposed savings in the order of £28million to give us some flexibility to be guided by the responses to this consultation.   

Our savings proposals are grouped by our five outcomes: early years; life learning and work; economy and environment; safer, supported communities; and older people. Our outcomes represent the five key areas that the Council focuses on to ensure that we improve the lives of local people. There is also a proposal to increase income for the Council. 

We have already made savings of more than £37million in the past five years, so the scope left available to find more savings by efficiencies is limited. As a consequence there is little we can do to avoid affecting frontline services.

How you can have your say

We genuinely want to know what you think of the proposals and welcome your feedback on any further steps you think we can take to mitigate the impact of the proposals or if you believe we can make our savings in a different way.

To provide you with as much information as possible whilst you consider the proposals, we have also set out some infographics below. They bring together the key areas that put pressure on our budget, and that we have to consider when allocating spend, both for the short and long term.  

All budget consultation information is also available on this section of the website including: 

This is a tool which can give you further insight into the budget setting process and gives you the chance to see if you can balance the budget and what impact your decisions would have on residents and services.

This is our online consultation space where you can share your views on our proposals. 

You can also view all the proposals by downloading our pdf icon Budget Conversation booklet [1Mb].

If you have family, a friend or neighbour that does not have internet access at home or are unable to access our libraries where free internet access is available, please contact our Customer First team on 0141 577 3001 and a hard copy of our consultation questionnaire will be provided.

Budget setting timeline

  • 9 October 2017 - Consultation opens
  • 28 November 2017 - Consultation ends
  • 14 December 2017 (expected) - Scottish Government announce final annual settlement
  • 8 February 2018 - budget decided by elected members at full Council.

More information about our budget challenge

To provide you with as much information as possible we have also created some infographics which bring together the key areas that put pressure on our budget and that we have to consider when allocating spend, both for the short and long term.


2018-2021 budget consultation - Closing soon

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