People of Gloucestershire urged to have their say on budget plans this week
People in Gloucestershire are being urged to give their views on the County Council’s budget consultation before it closes on Friday (15 January, 5pm).
The public consultation, which was launched in December, gives stakeholders across the county including residents, businesses and key partner organisations, the opportunity to feedback on the council’s draft budget for 2021/22.
The plans total more than £480 million of spending and 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.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, said: “There’s not long left to ensure that your views on our plans are heard, and we’re encouraging everyone in Gloucestershire to take a moment to fill out our survey either online or by requesting a paper copy from our customer services team.
“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.
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