Guildford Borough Council to spend money improving services 

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Despite government cuts to Guildford Borough Council’s funding, residents can look forward to seeing investment in a number of services. It does mean a rise in council tax though… 

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6:55pm 11th February 2016
(Updated 6:56pm 11th February 2016)

 

The government grant for 2016-17 has been reduced by £880,000 – but that is not as bad as councillors first thought.

When the grant was first announced it was a further £100,000 short meaning the council had to cope with £980,000 less than last year.

In order to maintain and invest in services the council has agreed to increase council tax by 3.29%.

That works out as £5 a year for a band D property.

The council promises that you will see a the rise benefit the community.

Plans to spend capital investment will see £120 million spent on:

– New social housing
– Redevelopment of Guildford Park car park for housing and a multi-storey car park
– Disabled facilities grants
– Redevelopment of the Slyfield area
– Redevelopment of Council-owned land in the town centre
– Investment in transport infrastructure
– Renewal of the council’s vehicle fleet (eg bin lorries).

A further £1.6 million will be spent on:

– Developments and infrastructure projects in the town centre
– Improvements to customer services
– Improvements to the council website
– Extension of council run apprenticeship schemes
– Introduction of grants to small and medium start-up businesses
– A commitment to pay our employees at or above the UK Living Wage.

Councillor Nigel Manning, lead councillor for finance, asset management and governance, says: “The cuts in grants to councils made by the government are considerable – much greater than expected.

“I am pleased to see that the government responded to concerns raised by councils and has introduced transitional arrangements.

“Our council tax continues to offer value for money for residents and we are planning to invest in a number of projects throughout the borough.

“Looking forward, we have to make savings of nearly £5.5million over the next four years as there will be further cuts to our grants.

“By 2018-19 we will receive no government grant at all. So we face some tough choices on how we maintain the quality and range of our services, and how we deliver the investment projects in our capital programme.

“Despite the challenging financial climate, we will continue to deliver quality services and have a sustainable financial future.”

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