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The Leeds Budget

Updated: Feb 28

Every year Leeds City Council sets a budget, and unlike national government ours actually has to balance...

Inflation is hitting public services hard, from wages to construction materials, and tragically this is matched by an increase in the number of children going into care.

After 14 years of austerity this is probably the toughest financial situation local councils have ever been in. Councils of all political colours are struggling. There are no easy decisions.

Nonetheless, our Labour run council is able to set a balanced budget and retain very important social services - including 'non statutory' services that we don't have to provide but think it is important to do so, such as our Children's Centres.

Here's a summary of key points from the budget:

  • Since 2010 government has cut around 60% of the budget from Leeds. So far that's £2,700,000,000 taken out of our public services. In 2013 the Revenue Support Grant from govt accounted for 35.6% of the council’s budget, next year they are covering just 5.7%.

  • New laws allow us to charge a premium on second homes from April next year. It is currently forecast that this premium would generate approximately £3.6m a year to invest in public services.  We are giving the required 12 month notice period today.

  • By 2026, we will have delivered 720 new extra care units for older people, well on our way to the 1000 new units we have pledged - to enable older people to be looked after in the community.

  • We are beating our target for new affordable homes - with over 1,000 delivered last year, and well on our way to over 1,700 by 2025.

  • Leeds Labour’s climate action has been given an A rating by the Carbon Disclosure Project for the second year running - joining cities such as New York, Paris, Melbourne and Tokyo.

  • In this year's budget Leeds Labour continues to promote a safe City, dedicating £12 million to community safety to support the police in tackling crime and antisocial behaviour.

  • It’s the 10th anniversary of Leeds Labour Council committing to be a living wage employer. We are working to encourage many more employers to follow our lead, providing well-paid jobs across the City.

  • Despite rising energy prices, we are keeping all of our leisure centres open and continue to invest in our facilities at a time when many are closing.

  • Reported flytipping down 15%, compared to a national average reduction of 1% - the work of our new Serious Environmental Crime team is working.

  • Plans to have glass recycling up and running by the summer at no extra cost - we’ll recycle them through the usual green bin service meaning no need for extra coloured bins.

Ultimately, we need a new funding model. Labour nationally has committed to multi-year funding settlements with local councils - giving us more certainty to plan our budgets rather than having to guess year by year - and Labour will not follow Rishi Sunak's policy of redistributing money from northern cities to southern shire areas.


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