Council tax frozen for fourth year
This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.
A revenue budget of £190.7 million was set for 2014/15, with council tax for a Band D property remaining unchanged at £1,245.20.
A further freeze is also planned for 2015/16, followed by a two per cent increase in 2016/17.
The council has been able to freeze council tax for a fourth year due to positive progress with its current savings programme, which will have delivered savings of £43m by 2014/15, and higher than expected council tax receipts. The cost of the freeze will also be partially offset by a 1 per cent central government grant.
In addition to the council tax freeze, the budget also sets out a new Council Savings Programme (CSP), which will begin in 2014/15, with the aim of delivering an additional £36m of savings by 2019/20.
This level of savings will require significant changes to services in the coming years as the role of the council evolves to meet anticipated reductions in its resources.
The budget was finalised following extensive consultation with residents which included road show events at the district’s main shopping areas, together with paper and online surveys and Area Forum exercises. In total, more than 2,300 people responded to the consultation.
Respondents were asked to consider which services the council should prioritise in the coming years, with care for vulnerable older people identified as the highest-priority service (selected by 68 per cent of respondents).
The consultation findings were reflected in tonight’s budget, which includes plans for additional investment in community care and older peoples’ services over the next three years.
Consultation respondents were also invited to consider how the council should approach cost-saving measures, with the majority (87 per cent) saying that the council should make more use of its land and assets. Two-thirds (66 per cent) said that more services should be made available online, while 60 per cent said that the council should seek cost-savings by involving communities more closely in delivering services, such as through volunteering.
The agreed budget sets out a review of council land and assets, a new digital strategy and a renewed commitment to working with the third sector and volunteers, while also reviewing how more services can be passed on to localities.
Further information on the revenue budget is available online at www.southglos.gov.uk/budget
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