Council launches consultation on budget for the future
Gloucestershire County Council has today launched a public consultation on its draft budget for 2021/22, after proposals were approved by cabinet earlier this week.
The plans, which total more than £480 million of spending, include additional investment in key areas like children’s services, highways and tackling the climate emergency, as well as planning for the Council’s continued response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The consultation will run until 5pm on 15 January 2021, and stakeholders across the country including residents, businesses and key partner organisations are being asked to give their views on the proposals.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, said: “We’re proposing a budget that we believe strikes the right balance between investing where it is needed in the here and now, and planning for Gloucestershire’s future. It puts protecting jobs and protecting our environment at its core, and keeps Council Tax levels among the lowest in the country. But we want to know what you think. The decisions the County Council makes will have an impact on all those who live and work here, so your feedback is vital to help shape these plans.
“Please take a moment to fill out our survey, either online or by requesting a paper copy from our customer services team.”
Some of the council’s key investments planned for next year include:
- £1m to make new school buildings carbon neutral
- £9.2m for a new special school
- £15m for the new secondary school in Cheltenham
- £11m for a new primary school in Bishops Cleeve
- £8.1m for improvements to the condition of school buildings and facilities across the county
- A further £4.9m towards delivery of the Gloucester South West Bypass
- £3m towards the £11.6m Cheltenham to Gloucester cycle route
- £11.3m towards M5 J10
- £2.7m investment in new and improved life-saving equipment for GFRS’ firefighters
- £1.8m to ensure delivering Broadband across the county
The draft budget proposes to raise in the region of £6m to help fund services through a 1.99% increase in council tax. The council is also proposing to apply the national social care precept at 2.76% to raise an additional £8.6m. In total these changes result in about a £5 monthly increase for the average Band D taxpayer.
Despite the extra investment, Gloucestershire County Council still expects to have one of the lowest council tax levels of any county council.
The council continues to challenge itself to work more efficiently and effectively and as a result has also identified £7.6 million savings for next year, helping to meet increased demand and costs.
For more information and to fill out the survey, go to www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/budget2021-22