Council Budget

bcc-corporate-strategy-2Bristol City Council has been consulting the public and its partners on proposed savings to help it close a £92m budget gap over the coming five years.

Yesterday (12th January) the council published updated proposals which include unchanged, changed and brand new savings proposals.

The full proposals can be seen at www.bristol.gov.uk/coprstrategy

The proposals will be considered by Cabinet on 24 January before the Mayor’s recommendation to Full Council on 21 February.

If approved the proposals will have a significant impact on Neighbourhood Partnerships across the City, including St George Neighbourhood Partnership.

The proposals state:

“We recognise the value of engaging with communities on issues that affect them, but believe there are more efficient ways to do this than current Neighbourhood Partnership structure. We will work with councillors and communities to change the focus and scope of this in the future by looking at what individual communities need.”

The proposed savings are £500k in 2017/18 & £562k in 2018/19. In effect this means that there will be no further funding for Neighbourhood Partnerships after April 2018.

In addition the proposals are for a £100k reduction in the wellbeing grant available across the City, this is approximately 30% – we don’t yet know how much of the remaining pot (if any) will be allocated to St George. The £350k allocated across the City for small traffic schemes is also proposed to be withdrawn. These two proposals together effectively remove the vast majority of the budget available to Neighbourhood Partnerships.

There will be further consultation on the details of these proposals and we will publish details when it starts.

Neighbourhood Partnership members have been aware for some time that significant cuts are likely and is holding a series of meetings to consider whether it is possible to form a new organisation to continue to carry out some of the tasks currently undertaken by the Partnership, including promoting St George and the community groups that do such good work in our area.

There is also a one day workshop with practitioners from the city and across the country which will allow participants to build on current good practice and explore community-led models for the delivery of neighbourhood support and related services, such as parks and libraries.

The workshop is especially for community activists, community organisations, as well as Councillors and local authority workers. It will be held on Saturday 4th February 2017 Time from 9:30am to 4pm.

Representatives of community groups can book a place on the workshop here.

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