Budget consultation reminder – what do you think about the council’s tax and spending plan?

Published on 9th January 2015

White piggy bank with black flower design

There is a public forum at 7pm on Thursday 15 January, and the consultation is open until Monday 26 January.

Local residents are being urged to give their views on the council’s budget proposals for 20125/16. They are also being asked how they would like the council.to spend £8million of capital which it has accumulated from the sale of land and wants to use to improve the town.

The council is holding an open public forum where residents can come and give their views on the budget in person. This will be held next Thursday (15 January) at 7pm in the Municipal Offices and is open for any Cheltenham resident who wants to attend. Please contact 01242 774951 or email moneymatters@www.cheltenham.gov.uk to register for the event.

The sale of land at North Place and Portland Street 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 visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/budget to see the questionnaire and have a go at selecting their top three priorities for capital investment.

The interim budget proposals were agreed at cabinet in December and they are open for public consultation until 26 January 2014. Consultation leaflets and questionnaires are available in reception at the Municipal Offices and other council premises and are available to complete online on the council website. Residents can also email (moneymatters@www.cheltenham.gov.uk) with their thoughts.

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: “We’ve had a good response to our consultation so far, with over 90 responses received by email or post, and hope that even more of our residents can take the time to give us their views.

“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 £8million 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: Laura Carter, communications officer, on 01242 264154 or email laura.carter@www.cheltenham.gov.uk