Council reveals possible £2m saving measures to cope with inflation

Ipswich Borough Council will publish a revised financial plan for the year to meet the challenge of inflation.

Ipswich Borough Council will publish a revised financial plan for the year to meet the challenge of inflation. - Credit: PA

Ipswich Borough Council has revealed the measures it may take to cope with rising inflation – but has assured residents that their household finances will not be directly impacted. 

The council had published its medium-term financial plan (MTFP) for the year 2022/23 in February. An MTFP typically lasts four years. 

Since then, however, inflation forecasts have doubled, with the Office for National Statistics now predicting 9.1% inflation. 

The council has now said it will issue a revised plan to meet this challenge, with the Council’s Executive making its recommendations on July 12. 

It has said that a minimum saving of £2 million is needed in the year 2022/23 to maintain the minimum working balance, and enable the balanced budget to be set for the following year. 

The Executive will consider recommending to the council: 

  • A review of the capital programme reducing associated financing/revenue costs by £0.5m in 2023/24 and £1.25m over the 4-year period 

  • Consideration of new savings proposals that total at least £2.3m over the 4-year term 

  • A systematic review of income 

  • Consolidation of savings projects into a corporate Big Ticket savings programme 

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What will this mean? 

  • The return of the management of Northgate Sports Centre to Suffolk County Council 

  • Move Face-to-Face provision from the Customer Services Centre in the Town Hall and let out the space commercially 

  • Reducing office accommodation costs 

  • Selling land / developing sites to reduce interest on borrowing 

  • Returning maintenance of highways verges and related highways weed treatments to Suffolk County Council 

  • Remove the “unallocated growth budget” which has enabled the council to consider offering new or enhanced services in previous years 

  • Ceasing production of the Council newspaper, the Angle 

  • Simplifying community grants 

  • Increasing council tax levels on long-term empty properties when allowed 

Leader of Ipswich Borough Council David Ellesmere

Leader of Ipswich Borough Council David Ellesmere - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ipswich Borough Council Leader David Ellesmere has assured residents that they will not be directly impacted. 

He said: “Soaring prices aren’t just affecting households. They are hitting the council hard too.  

“Our whole approach is intended to respond to inflation in a manner that ensures the Council remains financially sustainable in the medium term. 

“None of the areas where savings are proposed have a direct impact on household finances of Ipswich residents.  

“Free of charge brown bins and the free young person’s Summer iCard will remain. The proposal to move community cash grants to three-year awards will make it easier for the organisations who benefit to plan their budgets.”