Council approves budget for 2020/21
Published on 18th February 2020
The council has approved budget proposals for 2020/21 which will see adjustments of funds and resources to achieve specific targets.
On Monday (17 February), full council approved the budget proposals for 2020/21 (agenda item 11).
This year, the council’s need to modernise, become financially sustainable and carbon neutral by 2030, has meant a commercial mind-set, and adjusting funds and resources to achieve specific targets.
The budget identifies £826,000 savings for the coming financial year and up to £100,000 lending facility to the Cheltenham BID for an ice rink for winter 2020; garden waste charges have been frozen, including the prompt payment discount for early renewal.
There will be a small increase in the district council’s share of council tax. The increase of 2.39% per cent will take the borough element of council tax up to £214.08 for the average Band D taxpayer, an increase of £5 a year.
Councillor Rowena Hay, cabinet member for finance, said: “In recent years, we have worked tirelessly to cut costs and make savings in our budgets in response to challenges in local government funding cuts. Our overriding responsibility has to be to protect local services, even if it means a modest increase in council tax.
“Now we need to press ahead with some major projects, and take a strategic approach to ensure their success. The investments that we are making in the borough are underpinned by strong resident satisfaction that show overall 84% of Cheltenham residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live.”
£1.6m from the continued town hall redevelopment, now currently out of scope due to the options identified being unaffordable for the council to progress, has been reallocated as follows:
- £350k to a climate emergency fund to help facilitate the council’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030
- £150k to redevelop the public conveniences at Sandford Park
- £75k from the planned maintenance reserve to deliver the corporate plan priorities
- £1.2m investment to support commercial opportunities identified by The Cheltenham Trust, including £200k contingency for the splash-pad at Leisure at Cheltenham
- £200k to purchase an ‘In Cab’ technology system for the Ubico fleet which offers a number of financial, service related and carbon reduction benefits to the council and its residents, subject to a business case.
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The investments the council is making in the borough is underpinned by strong resident satisfaction that show overall 84% of Cheltenham residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live. This score is higher than the Local Government Association (LGA) benchmark (80%). See the residents’ survey results.