We are today (20th December) launching our annual budget consultation, asking residents to have their say on its draft budget.
Following cabinet approval today, the consultation runs until 5pm on 17 January 2020 and asks for people to say what they think about our spending plans.
We are encouraging residents to have their say via the online survey. However, for those who aren’t able to do this, copies of the survey will be available in local libraries and in the county council’s reception at Shire Hall.
The budget for 2020/21 totals £468million, a net increase of £31million on 2019/20. As well as an additional £12.9million going towards protecting the county’s vulnerable children, an initial £1million Action Fund will be set up to help tackle climate change.
The budget also sets aside around £73.6m of capital investment for schools and children and family services, bringing total expected capital investment to around £160m by 2023.
A further £49.8m has been allocated to deliver on the third year of the council’s £150m Your Highways programme.
The draft budget proposes to raise around £6.3m 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%, raising an additional £6.3m to help manage the increase demand for adult care services. In total these changes would result in an increase of under £1 per week for the average Band D taxpayer.
Cllr 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:
- £73.6m for schools and children and family services, including £20m towards a £30m new secondary school in Cheltenham, £6.5m towards a new Special School , £3.2m towards the expansion of The Cotswold School, £6.2m towards increasing the number of primary school places in the Bishops Cleeve area and £2.5m towards the expansion of Leckhampton Primary School
- An additional £12.9m into children’s services
- In the region of £14.5m into Gloucester South West Bypass, Arle Court, Junction 11, Honeybourne cycle route extension, Gloucester to Quedgeley and Cheltenham to Bishop Cleeves cycle tracks.
- £1.5m 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.
- £3.1m to ensure delivering Broadband across the county
- Almost £5.0m to upgrade street lights and traffic signals
- In excess of £500k for councillors to invest in their local area