Borough To Raise Its Portion Of Council Tax By 1.5%, Due To Cuts In Government Grants And Other Funding + Comments

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Council tax is set set to rise once again as Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has announced it will increase its portion by 1.5%, citing cuts in government grants and other funding reductions

 

At its meeting on Wednesday, February 11, GBC approved a new budget and set council tax for 2015-16. Councillors also agreed the housing revenue account expenditure plans.

Mansbridge

Cllr Stephen Mansbridge,

The leader of the council, Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, said: “Our agreed budget features further investment across the borough. We want to continue to encourage prosperity, and create opportunities and choices for future generations, despite the ongoing financial pressures we face due to cuts in central government funding.

“This year we have seen an 8% reduction in our support from central government which, taken with the cuts we had last year, represents a 14.5% reduction in central government funding since 2013-14. We also anticipate further government funding cuts in future.”

GBC says that through financial planning and continued improvements to the efficiency of its existing services, it has delivered  £6 million in savings since 2010-11 and £3.6 million in additional income. It plans to continue this by achieving a further £932,000 of savings and £1 million in additional income in 2015-16.

Listing its planned schemes, GBC says these are aimed at “achieving a sustainable future, [and] include additional capital investment in the borough and council facilities of £117 million over the next five years”.

These schemes include:

  • Guildford riverside cycle routes

  • Affordable housing provision

  • Disabled facilities grants

  • Refurbishment and upgrade of Guildford Castle and museum

  • Clay Lane Link Road

  • Improvements to Woodbridge Road sports ground

  • Buying a new burial ground

  • Spectrum roof replacement and steelwork repairs

  • North Street development.

Its plans for service delivery include an investment of £1.7 million into its services, including:

  • Waste and recycling

  • Customer services centre

  • Developing the new Local Plan

  • Support for vulnerable families

  • Council-owned parks and open spaces.

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