Published on 17th December 2014
5 week budget consultation now open
Local residents can have their say on how they’d spend £8million as Cheltenham Borough Council’s draft budget goes live for consultation. The sale of North Place and Portland Street car parks has given the council a sum of £8million to reinvest in the borough and residents have the unique opportunity to say how they’d like the council to spend the money.
Residents can identify their spending priorities from a range of projects in the following areas: monuments and public spaces; recreation and leisure; investing to cut costs; clean energy; parking; and the crematorium. Residents can read the online questionnaire and have a go at selecting their top three priorities for capital investment.
The interim budget proposals were agreed at cabinet last night and they are now open for public consultation until 26 January 2015. Consultation leaflets and questionnaires will be available in reception at the Municipal Offices and other council premises and will also be available to complete online on the council website. Residents can also email [email protected] with their thoughts. The council is also holding an open public forum where residents can come and give their views on the budget, in person. This will be held on Thursday 15 January at 7.00pm in the Municipal Offices and is open for any Cheltenham resident who wants to attend. Please contact 01242 774951 or use the above email address to register for the event.
Top proposals within the budget are to hold council tax at its current level and freeze car park charges, both for the fifth year running.
Key features of the budget also include:
- No increase in the borough council’s share of council tax (which is £187.12 a year for a Band D property) for the fifth year running
- No increase in car park charges for the fifth year running
- £686,000 of efficiency savings to contain increased costs and the government’s latest cut in revenue support grant of £835k for 2015/16
Many of the savings arise from sharing services with other councils, streamlining senior management and creating the Cheltenham Trust to run leisure and culture services
No cuts in front-line services
Cabinet member for finance, Councillor John Rawson said: “The sale of land at North Place and Portland Street for redevelopment together with other land deals has given the Council a capital sum of £8 million to reinvest in the town. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a lasting difference to the life of Cheltenham. The projects that have been proposed range from restoring Neptune’s Fountain to improving leisure facilities to investing in clean solar energy. We would like to know from residents what they think our priorities should be.”
Full council will be meeting to set the budget, taking into account feedback from the budget consultation process, on Friday 13 February 2015 at 2.30pm in the Municipal Offices. The council will meet again on Friday 27 February 2015 to determine the level of council tax, taking into account the requirements of Gloucestershire County Council and the Gloucestershire Police Authority.
For press enquiries contact: Katie Sandey, communications team leader, on 01242 775037 or email [email protected]