Council prepares comprehensive COVID-19 recovery budget
Published on 13th November 2020
Cheltenham Borough Council is set to put forward its revised budget proposals for 2020/21 against the challenges of COVID-19.
At a meeting on 16 November, council members will discuss proposed recommendations to enable the council to deliver a recovery that offers opportunities for renewal, improvement, and strong, sustainable communities.
Continued investment in locally driven projects such as The Golden Valley Development, £100m housing investment plan, and No Child Left Behind, as well as a renewed commitment to becoming a net zero carbon council and borough by 2030, will allow the council to play its part in a collective national effort to rebuild.
These recommendations include approving:
- a revised capital programme with identified asset disposals in order to produce a balanced General Fund revised budget for 2020/2021 and future years
- additional budget and funding for Cyber Central, the Golden Valley development
- flexible use of capital receipts strategy
- the budget-setting timetable and the 2021/22 budget process
- and the Housing Revenue Account revised budget for 2020/21.
Paul Jones, executive director finance and assets, says: “The proposals set out in the revised budget, if approved, will allow us to take decisive action now, so we can continue to invest in our services, support economic growth in our town, and support residents - whilst maintaining our commitment to becoming the cyber capital of the UK, which is critical to ensuring that we achieve financial sustainability.
“Our pioneering solutions to budget pressures and our commercial strategy have put the council in a strong position to lead the recovery.
“Some of the council’s assets have been identified for disposal to provide much needed funds to ensure the council is financially resilient this year and in the future.
“These assets are currently surplus to requirements and are low yielding in terms of delivering a return to residents. They are however, well placed to drive the economy and create jobs to deliver much needed housing and commercial opportunities for the wider benefit of the whole town and its communities.”
Cllr Rowena Hay, cabinet member for finance, continues: “It is essential that we take action now to protect the overall financial position of the council, continue to invest in our services and support our residents.
“We, like all other councils, have incurred additional costs this year as a result of the work we’ve done in response to COVID restrictions and the additional responsibilities that we’ve taken on – and we’ve also suffered a significant loss of income due to lockdown.
“Continued prudent, careful, yet bold decision making in our budget plans, along with our COVID-19 recovery plan, should go a long way towards ensuring that the council has a solid financial platform to lead the recovery.”
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