Consultation on budget to keep council tax low and service levels high
Approved by Cabinet last night (Tuesday 13 November), the £121.42 per year proposed as the average borough council part of the council tax for 2019/20 is likely to make it the lowest of the districts in Hampshire, and most of the rest of the country, again.
Very strong financial management has put the council in a sustainable position, despite rising costs and demand for services and a huge reduction in Government funding.
Services that residents value – like weekly bin collections – have been kept as part of plans for a balanced budget over the next four years.
Additional support for vulnerable people is proposed including £850,000 more for disabled facilities grants to help people stay in their own homes and a new scheme to give council tax reductions for 18 to 25-year-old care leavers. And there’s a £6.5 million boost for local facilities, with plans to invest in improvements and maintenance including community buildings, play areas and the skate park in War Memorial Park.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Service Delivery and Improvement Cllr Robert Tate said: “We are investing in our community at a time when many councils are having to go the other way. We are protecting - and often improving – our front line services, as well as supporting vulnerable people, yet we are adding only £5 per year to the average council tax bill.
“Our focus is on providing value for money for our residents, including by making services more efficient through new technology so that we can continue to protect them and keep council tax low in the future.
“We are using our own resources to support the digital future of the borough and to deliver projects like Manydown and Basing View to provide a great homes and jobs, but also bring in extra funds, in years to come.”
Feedback from the consultation, that runs until Wednesday 2 January 2019 at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/budget2019, will be considered before final decisions about the budget are taken at a Council meeting in February 2019.