News Release from City of York Council Labour Group – Immediate Release: 23rd February, 2024

Budget passed stabilises council finances

City of York Council last night passed a budget for 2024-25 that stabilises the council’s finances, according to the administration’s finance chief, Cllr Katie Lomas.

The budget, required to make the books balance, involved the approval of over £14m in cuts following sustained funding restrictions from the Conservative Government.  It also placed a last-minute temporary grant for Social Care services into reserve in preparation for addressing pressures in the Adult and Children’s Social Care budgets next year, following the advice of the council’s Chief Finance Officer.

Executive Member for Finance, Cllr Katie Lomas said:

“The Chief Finance Officer has been clear in their advice that use of one-off reserves to plug ongoing gaps is not sensible and has explicitly advised against this approach to managing the council’s budget.

“The approach of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in ignoring this advice would have significantly increased the risk of the council having to make unmanageable cuts to its budget in future years or worse, declare effective bankruptcy and so is an approach Labour wasn’t prepared to take.

“We know in recent years the pressure on the Adult Social Care budget has been significant and the prudent approach is to use this money when it’s needed and for what it’s intended.

“Opposition parties opted to put forward proposals to use this single year of grant funding for services that would be unfunded beyond next March.  This is a dangerous approach and one that would only lead the council into further problems and bigger cuts in future.

“We’re taking the tough decisions now to stabilise the council’s finances so we avoid following other councils down the path of inflated council tax increases and the reduction and removal of valued services”.


Cllr Katie Lomas – Tel: 07776 141781


Notes to Editors:

(Public Pack)Agenda Supplement 2: Statutory Advice from the s151 Officer Agenda Supplement for Council, 22/02/2024 18:30 (

The link provides guidance from the statutory S151 Chief Finance Officer of the council, including the following:

27. I have been clear in my original statement above that I am unable to guarantee all the proposed savings can be delivered. An important part of managing the risk of non-delivery of planned savings is ensuring that sufficient reserves are available to mitigate against this and allow time for alternative savings to be identified.

28. Equally, the Medium Term Financial Strategy is clear both on the need for future savings to be delivered and that no formal confirmation or other guarantees have been received from Government on funding allocations beyond 2024/25.

29. Considering all these factors, I continue to advise against the use of one off reserves, or any other funding, to delay the need to identify and deliver recurring savings without a clear strategy for how we will tackle the known financial challenges. Whilst Council is only required, statutorily, to balance the budget for the year ahead, not acting now could result in an unmanageable savings target in future years, and I would caution Council against this.


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