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Cllrs agree draft budget consultation

Published Friday 2 December, 2022
Last updated on Tuesday 2 May, 2023

People are being asked to have their say on Swale Borough Council’s proposed budget for the next financial year.

Councillors agreed to ask the public for feedback on the draft budget for 2023/24 at a meeting on Wednesday night, and the consultation is now live.

The draft budget consultation would ask for feedback on issues such as:

  • restructuring council services to save £516,000, including £100,000 from senior management
  • no inflationary pay award for council staff, except those on the Real Living Wage, with salaries frozen and working hours reduced
  • increasing council tax by 2.99%, or more if the Government increase the previous cash limit
  • increasing income from fees and charges by £581,000
  • reducing grants paid by £227,000.

Cllr Mike Baldock, leader of the council, said:

“This is only the second time we’ve run a full consultation on our proposed budget in this way, and we really want to hear people’s feedback.

“These draft proposals have been put together as a response to the hugely increased costs we’re facing, along with the pressures of more and more people coming to us for support with essential things like housing and the cost of living crisis.

“It’s no secret that the income we receive from the revenue support grant from central government has fallen from £4.1 million in 2014/15 to £120,000 this year, so we’ve got to make some tough choices to try to balance the books.

"Local Government funding has been repeatedly slashed by central Government, and councils across the country are facing extreme pressures to try and deliver even basic services.

“Our share of the final council tax bill that residents receive is only around 10 per cent of the total, and any increase we make will be significantly less than inflation.

“But we know our services make a real difference which is why we want to invest in improving things like our waste and street cleaning services and keep working hard on those issues that are important to local people.

“To pay for these means less funding on other services, which is why it’s vital we hear from as many people as possible about these proposals.”

The results will then be reported to the policy and resources committee on 8 February 2023 before full council is asked to approve the final budget on 22 February.

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