Funding and support
"We are always looking at how we can do things better, save money and be more efficient."
Leader Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon
The Council, along with other local authorities, has faced unprecedented reductions in government funding since 2010. Since this date, we've delivered budget savings of £128m.
But service pressures and increasing demand for services, particularly from those most vulnerable, means we face more financial challenges in the future. However, we have a good track record of identifying and delivering significant savings combined with effective and efficient financial planning.
Our net budget (total expected expenditure less total expected income) for 2015/16 was £206.345m. The actual expenditure for the year was £206.053m, resulting in an underspend position of £0.292m on services. This positive position was helped by some one-off areas of underspend and additional income have contributed to this position, including £1.964m underspend on capital financing, £1.597m surplus on the Council's Insurance Fund, and additional grant income of £0.479m.
The detail behind the £206.053m (both gross expenditure and income) can be seen in the Service Analysis.
Support to local organisations and individuals in 2015-16
Through the Gateshead Fund we are able to help others to achieve a thriving voluntary and community and social enterprise sector in Gateshead, with the aim of creating strong and cohesive neighbourhoods and communities.
There are two elements to the Gateshead Fund and during 2015/16:
- Local Community Fund aided 91 groups with support totalling £70,789. Allocations ranged from £90 to £3,200 and funded residents groups to community festivals and environmental, health and wellbeing and arts and culture projects.
- Capacity Building Fund supported 131 applications with assistance totalling £583,197.
Other examples of support are set out below:
- 7.7% of people with learning disabilities known to the Council are in paid employment, which is an improvement on the previous year.
- 11,200 people received financial information, advice and guidance from partners which culminated in increased benefit entitlements of £4.9 million, managed debts written off to the value of £4.3 million and financial awards of £253,000.
- 18 social enterprises have been supported with a minimum of 12 hours business consultancy.
- The Family Intervention Team delivered 25 parenting programmes with 118 parents completing the course.
- Active Kidz activities attracted 267 children and young people during the spring and summer holiday periods. 65% were referrals from social care and 35% from public bookings.
- Council Officers within the Neighbourhood Management and Volunteering Team have worked with over 140 organisations, providing advice and support as part of the Live Well Gateshead commissioned activity. This included helping to develop action plans to assist organisations become more self-sustaining, governance support and advice around establishing new groups such as health and wellbeing support groups and environmental groups.