Don’t miss your chance to have your say on council budget proposals
Proposals for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s 2021/22 budget include a proposed £5 average increase for the borough council part of the council tax which is likely to make it one of the lowest of the districts in Hampshire, and most of the rest of the country, again.
Maintaining services that residents value, including weekly bin collections, community safety patrols and keeping areas looking their best, are funded as part of the Cabinet’s budget proposals for next year.
This includes previous commitments for additional funding to increase community safety patrols and a new scheme for councillors to support small-scale projects in their communities, which were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help fund services, as well as a small increase in council tax, a 3% average increase in fees and charges to help pay for the costs of these services without putting the burden on council tax payers is proposed.
Over the last 11 years £15.1 million in savings have been made while protecting services, with the borough council continuing to look at how it can run more efficiently.
Like many others across the country, the council’s budget has also been put under further pressure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with falling income and extra costs to provide support during this unprecedented time.
Cabinet Member for Finance and Service Improvement Cllr Hannah Golding said: “Our budget proposals for the coming year continue to focus on what matters most to residents as well as ensuring we are well placed to prepare for the borough’s future as we work alongside our partners to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although we have a long history of strong financial management, this year we are having to make difficult decisions with reductions in funding and rising costs and demand for our services to ensure we can continue to provide services in the future.
“It is vital that our budget continues to reflect the priorities of our communities so it is more important than ever that we hear from residents, businesses and groups across the borough to help shape our final proposals before the deadline closes on Sunday 3 January.”
Feedback from the consultation, that runs until 3 January 2021 at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/budget2020, will be considered before final decisions about the budget are taken at a meeting of Council on 25 February 2021.