Cabinet to consider budget proposals
Tuesday 13th of February 2018
The council’s proposed net budget of £173 million and medium term financial plan will be discussed by the council’s cabinet at its meeting next week (Tuesday 13 February).
The medium term financial plan looks at the expected budget position for the next few years and ;indicates a further financial challenge of £25 million between 2019/20 and 2022/23.
The report asks Cabinet members to protect the council’s corporate priorities of raising educational attainment, supporting our most vulnerable residents and creating a cleaner, greener borough.
Included in the budget proposal is additional funding for another deep cleanse of the borough which will support the annual ‘spring clean’ campaign. The report also outlines that money for Highways maintenance will increase by £597,000 to over £1 million due to extra Welsh Government funding.
Also proposed is a council tax increase of 4.95 which would result in an average council tax for a band D property going up from £1,183.05 per year to £1241.61. This is an increase of approximately £58.56 per year or £1.13 per week before community council, police and fire authority precepts are added.
Cllr Anthony Hunt, Leader of Torfaen council said: "Our budget has been cut again this year, and this is the eighth year we’ve been forced to make large savings. We’ve tried our best to make savings from efficiencies inside the organisation in order to save front line services, but there are very few easy choices remaining. We have ended with a long set of proposals which try to minimise as far as possible the impact on the public.
“On top of the cuts in funding, we also have to cope with the impact of inflation, pay and increasing demand on services like social care. This process becomes even more difficult with every year that goes by - ; after eight consecutive years of government austerity, we’ve had to make savings in excess of £60 million.
“Despite having our funding cut again, we’ve been able to fund social care pressures of around £2million, helping our most vulnerable residents. We’ve also been able to allocate around £700,000 to local schools to help them with the funding pressures they face.
“We know increasing council tax puts pressure on household budgets, but without a rise, we’d have to find almost £2million of extra cuts, which would harm vital services like schools, social care and cleaning and greening, with valued local services closing or reducing, meaning communities would ultimately suffer. Unfortunately, this is the reality of austerity.&;
After cabinet consider the proposals, ;the full council will consider the final budget report including the council tax level on the 27th ;of February.
A copy of the meeting agenda can be downloaded here.
Source: http://www.torfaen.gov.uk/en/News/2018/February/07-Cabinet-to-consider-budget-proposals.aspx (Wed Feb 7th 2018)