County Council puts 1.99 per cent increase in council tax bills forward for public consultation
By James Young | 20th December 2019
A draft budget for the 2020/21 financial year was approved by Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet earlier today and will now go forward to a period of public consultation.
The £468 million annual budget will be paid for by a 1.99 per cent rise in council tax, while the council is also proposing the national social care precept is applied at two per cent.
Both increases would add £6.3 million to the budget and result in an increase of less than £1 per week for the average band D council tax payer.
Following cabinet approval, the public consultation runs until 5pm on January 17 2020 with the council encouraging residents to have their say via an online survey.
Copies of the survey will also be available in the county's libraries and from reception at Shire Hall.
The £468 million budget represents an increase of £31 million on 2019/12 and sees an additional £12.9 million going towards protecting the county's vulnerable children.
It will also see a £1million 'Action Fund' set up to help tackle climate change.
The budget also sets aside around £73.6million of capital investment for schools and children and family services, bringing total expected capital investment to around £160million by 2023.
A further £49.8million has been allocated to deliver on the third year of the council's £150million 'Your Highways' programme.
Councillor Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "We have an ambitious vision for the future of this great county as well as a strong commitment to deliver the best possible service now.
"I believe the draft budget achieves that balance. Before the budget is finalised in February next year, it is important to know what residents think.
"I would encourage everyone to take the time to have a look at our plans and then respond to the consultation.
"We will carefully consider all the views received ahead of finalising the budget for the year ahead."
The draft 2020/21 budget sets out an allocation for a range of projects including:
- £73.6million for schools and children and family services, including
- £20million towards a £30million new secondary school in Cheltenham,
- £6.5million towards a new Special School,
- £3.2million towards the expansion of The Cotswold School,
- £6.2million towards increasing the number of primary school places in the Bishops Cleeve area and
- £2.5million towards the expansion of Leckhampton Primary School
- An additional £12.9million into children's services
- In the region of £14.5million into Gloucester South West Bypass, Arle Court, Junction 11, Honeybourne cycle route extension, Gloucester to Quedgeley and Cheltenham to Bishop Cleeve cycle tracks.
- £1.5million to ensure GFRS' firefighters have new and improved life-saving equipment and to increase the services' prevention and protection work.
- £700k towards flood alleviation work. This forms part of investment over the coming years of more than £5.3m, which will significantly reduce the risk of flooding to hundreds of homes in the county.
- £3.1million to ensure delivering Broadband across the county
- Almost £5million to upgrade street lights and traffic signals
- In excess of £500k for councillors to invest in their local area
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