Investment in schools, vulnerable children’s services and roads set to be agreed
At its meeting on 30 January Gloucestershire County Council cabinet is set to agree investment of almost £11m into children’s services as part of a £15m overall increase to the council’s 2019/20 budget.
The budget also sets aside £179m of new capital investment for schools, community facilities and highways, including funding for the council’s £150m road improvements programme.
For the past four weeks people across Gloucestershire have been commenting on the councils proposed budget plans. 535 responses were received, of which 68% agreed with proposals, and 77% agreed we had the right priorities.
Between October and December last year the council asked people to say what they thought of its new strategy, Looking to the Future. Through a series of roadshows and other engagement the council received 432 responses, with overwhelming support for the priorities and ambitions.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of the county council, said, “Following valuable feedback from people across the county, cabinet will now consider if our draft budget meets the priorities and expectations of Gloucestershire residents.
“Looking to the Future sets out our ambitious plans for the future of this great county and the proposed budget for next year shows that we can deliver - investing in quality services now and for a successful tomorrow.
“Thank you to all who took the time to comment on our budget proposals and Looking to the Future - we will listen carefully to what you have told us.”
The proposed budget for 2019/20, taking efficiencies into account, would be £428m and is based upon a 2.99% increase in Council Tax (£8.4m), to be invested in children’s services making sure improvements go from strength to strength. Based on current figures, when compared with other councils across the country, Gloucestershire sits in the bottom 25 per cent when it comes to council tax levels. The council is also proposing to apply the national social care precept at two per cent, which will raise an additional £5.6m to help manage the increase demand for adult care services. This would see a £5.13 per month increase for the average Band D taxpayer.
The budget also allocates the second year of funding a three-year £30k commitment for councillors to continue investing in their local community.
Cabinet papers can be viewed online here.