A report presented to Leeds City Council’s Executive Board today (18 November 2020) set out more savings proposals for the financial year 2021/22 in an attempt to address the significant impact of coronavirus and ongoing reductions in funding.
It detailed the actions underway and proposed to address the financial gap for 2021/22 which is currently estimated at £118.8m.
Of this figure £59.7m is due to pressures identified prior to the impact of coronavirus with the balance of £59.1m resulting from the ongoing financial impact of COVID-19.
The report comes on top of savings proposals put forward in September and October.
The Council is in the process of rationalising its property estate and the proposals include the sale of the Park Lees development site on St Anthony’s Road in Beeston. Park Lees was the site of a care home, but has lain fallow since it was demolished some years ago.
Plans are also being made to close up to half the city’s bowling greens, potentially including those at Acre Close, Middleton, Cranmore Recreation Ground, Middleton Park, Cross Flatts Park and Holbeck Moor. An online consultation commenced this week and runs until Monday 14 December 2020, click here to take part in the consultation.
A further £17.6m of potential savings were presented for consideration with an anticipated reduction in the workforce of 199 full time posts.
Commenting on the latest proposals, the leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake has again called for more financial support to be provided by government to meet the increased budgetary challenges faced by the council due to coronavirus.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“The impact of coronavirus combined with national reductions to local government budgets over the last decade has been of a scale nobody could have predicted. There is no doubt that without further national funding there is a major risk to the services and facilities the council offers to the people of Leeds.
“We will make every effort to protect frontline services and we will do everything possible to not make compulsory redundancies. However, some incredibly tough decisions now need to be taken because of the impact of the pandemic following a decade of austerity.
“We continue to engage and speak with government regarding this issue and we are pressing the case on behalf of the people of Leeds. If the government listens and supports the council with more funding then the financial gap in next year’s budget will become smaller and the impact on council services will reduce.”
This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds City Council