Council unanimously approves budget for 2018/19
The District Council has approved its budget for 2018/19.
The net budget of £10,854,300, which includes efficiency savings and additional income of £532,000, was agreed by Full Council last night.
The approved settlement for 2018/19 takes into account a further government revenue support grant reduction in cash terms of £0.255 million or 8.1%.
The budget, together with the Medium Term Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2021/22 includes various funding initiatives and efficiency savings in the coming years to help the council become self-financing and less dependent on government support.
Other key elements of the budget include:
- A small increase in the district council’s share of council tax. The increase of 2.96% will take the District element of council tax up to £173.83 for the average Band D taxpayer, an increase of £5.00 a year (10p per week).
- Car parking and garden waste collection charges have been frozen.
- There will be no cuts in frontline services in 2018/19.
Councillor Roger James, Deputy Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance, Performance and Shared Working said:
“Our budget has now been set for the next financial year and we are confident that it will provide the resilience needed for the Council to continue to support the local community.
“We have frozen car parking and garden waste collection charges for a further year and not made any reductions to our front-line services.
“Our approved budget includes a below inflation increase in council tax of 2.96%, with the clear intention for some of this to be directed at growth within the district.
“Most local authorities are facing tough and complex financial pressures - cuts in government funding with the revenue support grant being phased out by 2020, and the rising demand for services with increased costs associated with its provision and economic growth challenges.
“In response to all of these pressures, we have worked tirelessly to cut costs, raise additional income and make savings in our budget, but our overriding responsibility had to be to protect the services that our customers value.”
Councillor James continued: “Whilst at present we are able to maintain all existing services, financial challenges still lie ahead with further cuts looming. We are looking to the future by following a strategy that will make us financially sustainable without the need for government support by proposing direct inward investment within the district. Future years will see us investing in housing, leisure and commercial regeneration.”