20th Sep, 2020

Wychavon budget: Council tax rise and £125,000 savings planned

COUNCIL chiefs are proposing a two per cent rise in Council Tax next year as they seek to address a £246,000 hole in the authority’s finances.

The first stage of Wychavon District Council’s budget process has been cleared after council chiefs gave the green light to the authority’s spending plans for the year ahead.

A council tax rise of two per cent, savings of £125,000 and a major car park improvement project are among the measures included in the 2018/19 budget which was approved by the Executive Board on Wednesday night.

The proposals will see council tax bills will rise by two per cent, adding £2.35 a year to the average band D bill.

One of the first projects to be undertaken is a resurfacing of the Chapel Street and Crown Meadow car parks.

Councillors voted in favour of making the £250,000 available with £50,000 spent on resurfacing Chapel Street in 2018 and £200,000 spent on resurfacing the access road to the Crown Meadow car park in 2019.

A total of £125,000 in savings will be made which will come from £25,000 in salary savings and £100,000 from savings made as part of a new waste and street cleaning contract.

Despite the savings, the budget still forecasts a deficit of £246,000 for next year. However, council chiefs have said as a result of their grow, save, charge business plan the council should have a balanced budget by 2023.

Council chiefs are also set to fork out £2.83million for the Evesham Leisure Centre Health and Well-being Extension, £71,000 on resurfacing Chapel Street Car Park in Evesham, £72,000 for land adjacent to Evesham United Football Club and £99,000 on road construction at Vale Park.

The final decision on the 2018/19 budget will be made at a full council meeting in the spring

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Lynne Duffy, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Resources, said: “We remain in a good financial position going forward.

“The council tax increase has been proposed at two per cent this year which still makes us one of the lowest in the country.

“We do still face uncertainties over staff costs, the fairer funding review and the business rates reset.”

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