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Budget report

Published Friday 24 November, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

Councillors are being asked to approve Swale Borough Council’s draft budget to go to consultation next week.

The policy and resources committee will be discussing a report on the draft budget for 2024/25 on Wednesday 29 November.

The report sets out how the council proposes to tackle significant inflation, increased pressure on key services and delays to the government’s local government funding review.

The draft budget outlines £3.5m of proposed savings, efficiencies and increased income, leaving a budget gap of £1.36m which would be funded from reserves, if further savings are not found.

The draft budget includes issues such as:

  • restructuring council services
  • increasing council tax by 2.99% (works out to 11p a week for a band D home)
  • increasing income from fees and charges
  • reducing some grants
  • a freeze in members' allowances
  • reviewing the council’s major contracts

Cllr Tim Gibson, leader of the council, said:

“Costs have risen year on year, and we have seen an increase in the help that people need as they struggle with the cost-of-living crisis.

“Despite this, central government continues to cut back funding, which forces us as a council to make some very difficult decisions.

“Last year we were able to create a savings package of £2.8 million through restructuring services and reviewing our fees and charges.

We now face the need to take a similar path to make sure that the council remains fiscally stable, whilst also providing the services that our community values and relies upon.

“Councils around the country are struggling financially, with many facing potential bankruptcy and it is imperative that we don’t see Swale becoming one of them.

“We have conducted a thorough review of our previous budget and will now be looking to approve our draft budget for 2024/25 with changes that were identified within the review.

“We are continuing to look for ways to increase savings, but I am confident that we will be able to maintain key services given the challenges ahead and we will continue to work hard to deliver for the people of Swale.

The report on the draft budget is available on the council's website here.

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