Council publishes draft budget 2012/13

Published on 14th December 2011

Budget

Local residents will be asked to have their say about Cheltenham borough council’s budget for next year - 2012/13, following cabinet on Tuesday 13 December at which the draft budget was discussed.

This year the government will again cut on-going support to the council by a further £534k which cumulatively equates to a 23.23% cut over the last two years. As a result the council has had to make savings and will continue to save to meet this funding gap.

Cabinet members are putting forward a number of proposals for next year’s budget which, if approved at council in February 2012, will save £1.115m. The proposals include:

  •     Frontline services protected wherever possible
  •     No budget for any pay inflation
  •     No growth in levels of service, except for Taxi Marshall’s, Tree Maintenance
  •     Increased income budgets based on an average of 2.5%
  •     A council tax freeze in line with the Government’s request – funded by one off grant
  •     Continued development of longer term plans for efficiencies over the period of the Medium Term Financial strategies, including increasing emphasis on shared services e.g. ‘GO’ and audit partnership.
  •     Creation of a local authority company to provide waste services for Cotswold and Cheltenham councils
  •     Savings from commissioning of services
  •     Actively managing vacancies and staffing levels to minimise impact of service reviews resulting in a proposed 4.9 fte (full time equivalents) reduction
  •     Process reviews (systems thinking) to improve efficiency and customer service
  •     Contract re-tendering (Single Advice)
  •     Increased use of e-learning
  •     Amendment to allowances (Car User Allowance)
  •     Reduction in grant funding (Everyman, Performing Arts Society)
  •     Review of allotment service
  •     Renegotiation of Regent Arcade lease
  •     Use of income from New Homes Bonus to protect services
  •     Investing in the towns’ infrastructure supporting GCC in repaving of the promenade and funding works to St Mary’s churchyard and Grosvenor Terrace car park.

Mark Sheldon, director of resources said: ‘’Sharing services has so far proven to be hugely successful, creating cost savings and offering more resilient services to Cheltenham residents. The council has worked incredibly hard to save £1.115m next year with minimal impact on frontline services.’’

Councillor John Webster, cabinet member for finance said: “We have managed to balance the budget again this year without significant cuts and with a zero council tax increase. We are continuing our work with young people and allocating more funds that community groups and businesses can bid for to improve the environment and promote the town. However, there has to be serious concern for the future “

Local people can once again have their say by taking part in the draft budget consultation. More information is available as a summary in the budget consultation summary. Alternatively you can view the draft budget report papers from the cabinet meeting in full (scroll down to item number 7) or call in to the Municipal Offices.

To have your say visit the budget consultation 2012/13 online form.