£9million in budget cuts proposed for Portsmouth

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Portsmouth City Council have revealed a budget that will cut £9million from their spending, ahead of a full council meeting on 13th December where the plans will be discussed.

The cuts will affect support for alcohol and drug misuse work, cultural collectives, sexual health facilities, and various other services.

In a statement, the council say they surveyed local people on budget options, with nearly 1,300 residents, council staff, and businesses responding with views and suggestions that have helped to shape the proposals.

The statement says that the budget was designed to “minimise impact on services to the public by focusing on an entrepreneurial approach and generating income.

“A total of 85% of those who responded agreed the council should generate income to pay for services rather than making cuts — as a result, this has been a focus of the budget proposals.”

Public health services will have over £600,000 cut from the budget, with more people being advised to use the Internet to find information rather than receiving one-on-one face-to-face support.

The council will also be countering the cuts imposed from the government through other means, such as the £300,000 they’ll generate in rent on commercial property they own and a changed leasing agreement on the Wightlink ferry base which will bring in £500,000 year-on-year, on top of ongoing projects like the Emirates sponsorship of the Spinnaker Tower.

In the next three financial years, the council have to save £24million from around £117million of net controllable spend, in addition to the £86million of savings already made over the last six years.

Portsmouth City Council Leader Donna Jones, said: “We’re releasing our proposals well in advance of the council meeting, because we want to make sure residents and staff are fully aware of what we’re proposing before any decisions are made.

“No-one wants to make cuts to services but in today’s very tough financial climate, we’re faced with extremely difficult decisions. However, I’m really pleased that we have been able to minimise the impact on services people rely on by focusing on bringing new money into the council.

“Two years ago we promised we would become an entrepreneurial council, and now we’re delivering that and leading the way nationally for councils looking to create income.

“Half of this year’s budget savings have been achieved by generating new income and restructuring debt and this approach will continue under our administration as we’ve already started looking at next year’s budget.”

See the full budget document on the Portsmouth City Council website »