Local authority unveils most stringent budget to date for 2024/25

Members of Bury Council have officially approved the budget for the upcoming financial year 2024/25.

Leaders have described this budget as the toughest they have ever had to set, and are urgently calling for a review of government funding to prevent the council’s financial situation from deteriorating further.

To balance the budget, the council will be using £15 million from reserves and £7.5 million from savings, efficiencies, and income generation.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, the council leader, stated: “The Government has increased our spending power, but the majority of that increase must come from raising Council Tax. Unfortunately, we are in the bottom 20% of councils in terms of government funding.”

He added: “We are facing inflation rates of up to 11% and a significant increase in demand for services, especially adult social care and services for children with special needs. These are essential services that we must provide, but they are also among the most costly – with social care accounting for two-thirds of the Council Tax.”

The council has voted to raise the Council Tax by 2.99% for general council services, along with an additional 2% levy specifically for social care. The majority of people’s Council Tax bill (around 84%) goes to the council, with the rest allocated to the Greater Manchester Mayoral, police, and fire services.

Councillor O’Brien explained: “Dipping into reserves may buy us some time, but it does not address the underlying issue, which is that demand is surpassing our ability to generate income. I am deeply concerned about the state of public services in Bury, as they are encountering significant challenges. This budget was a tough one to deliver, and our situation is becoming increasingly unsustainable.”

To support the petition, visit the following link: [https://www.bury.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/budget-campaign-petition](https://www.bury.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/budget-campaign-petition)

Press release issued on 23rd February 2024.

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