Budget Consultation 2021/22 content
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had a massive impact on us all. On our health and wellbeing, on the way we live and work and on the services that we use and the authorities provide.
Months on from the introduction of lockdown, these challenges remain in Dundee and across the country. Communities, and the services which support them, continue to respond to the immediate public health crisis while at the same time start the long process of recovery and renewal.
The future in uncertain. However, what we do know is that the social and economic effects of the pandemic are likely to be felt for years to come. That means there is a need to do things differently, to learn from these tough few months and to ensure that resources are used in a way that best meet the needs of the city in the years after Coronavirus.
The pandemic’s impact has also shone a light on the health of our people and planet, reinforcing the need to protect and support the most vulnerable in our communities.
As we all continue to navigate the challenges and changes, the council and its partners are having to refocus for a post-Covid Dundee – and we need your help.
The council’s vision for the city is of a strong and sustainable economy that will provide jobs for people in Dundee, retain more graduates and make the city a magnet for new talent.
We also want Dundee to be a place that offers real choice and opportunity in a city that has tackled the root causes of social and economic exclusion, creating a community which is healthy, safe, confident, educated and empowered.
Finally, our vision is that Dundee will be a vibrant and attractive city with an excellent quality of life where people choose to live, learn, work and visit. Dundee City Council delivers a wide range of services to people who live and work here.
This year alone, we will spend around £385million on services and investing in the city’s priorities.
Following feedback in last year’s budget consultation, record investment has been made in education and care services in Dundee. Fairness, tackling mental health and drugs issues and support for those facing financial hardship were also among the key priorities addressed in last year’s budget.
In addition, we are investing more than £100 million in tackling the climate emergency, reducing our carbon footprint and creating opportunities to lead on projects in renewables, sustainable mobility and low carbon energy.
Communities across Dundee have risen to the Coronavirus challenge, supporting each other and those most vulnerable. Council employees too have gone above and beyond, maintaining lifeline services throughout and helping those most in need.
But this all has a price – greater demand on services, higher costs of service delivery and a reduction in our income, through areas such as leisure and parking. In total, Coronavirus has cost the council more than £37million so far. Even with additional funding and support measures in place, we still need to find around £6.5million to balance the books in 2020/21.
As in previous years, and perhaps even more so, the council is faced with difficult choices around how budgets are spent, rethinking how services are designed and delivered – and considering where savings can be made now and in the future.
How you can help
This year, as in previous years, we’re asking for residents’ views to help us identify what is important to you for the council’s budget. We’re keen to learn whether your experiences during the pandemic have influenced how you think what the council does should be prioritised.
Please look carefully at our short survey and let us know what changes we could make and where you think our focus should be when setting the council budget. This could include raising or bringing in charges for some council services, reducing some services, or closing or selling buildings.
Thank you for taking part. Your views really do make a difference.