Web Analytics

Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet approves 2023-24 budget plans

| February 18, 2023

Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet has approved the draft budget plan for the financial year 2023-24, pending a final decision by full Council at a meeting on Wednesday 22nd February 2023.

The Cabinet considered the overall income and spending plans for 2023/24, which cover how the council will raise enough money to cover the costs of providing its essential services such as social care, as well as how it will pay for big projects like improvements to roads and schools, as well as further investment in waste services, environmental projects and tackling homelessness.

High inflation and added demand mean that, in spite of ongoing savings from becoming a unitary authority, the council needs to find an extra £63 million to cover its costs for the coming year. Like most councils with responsibility for social care, it means that, to raise enough money and to present a balanced budget, the Cabinet has agreed to put forward to Council a 2.99% rise in the base rate of council tax and a plan to take up the Government’s proposal for a Social Care Precept of 2%, meaning a total rise of 4.99% in bills.

This equates to a rise in council tax of £1.61 per week for the average home (Band D) in Buckinghamshire.

Speaking after the meeting on Tuesday 14th February 2023, Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘I first want to highlight that this budget has been shaped by residents and fully scrutinised by a cross-party group of councillors. Our spending proposals were informed by responses we had to our ‘Money Matters’ budget consultation at the end of last year, and once the plans were shaped, they’ve been heavily reviewed by scrutiny committee, and we’ve considered that feedback during today’s meeting.

It means we’ve arrived at a budget to put forward next week for a final decision at Council, and this year has probably been the most challenging on record in which to make these choices. Global and political turbulence, high inflation and cost of living pressures are impacting us all and as an organisation running public services, we are not immune to rising prices, yet we have to protect our residents from swallowing all that inflationary pressure. However, as almost all of our income (93%) now comes from council tax and business rates, with the rise in the costs of providing our services, it means we’ve had to propose a further rise in council tax this year.

I do not take this lightly and want to urge any household concerned with meeting their costs to contact our council tax team direct and if needed, to also take a look at the Cost of Living advice on our webpages. You can also look to spread council tax payments over the full twelve months so as to lower the monthly cost.

Amidst such a difficult context, with some councils even declaring bankruptcy, I’m pleased that Buckinghamshire Council remains financially prudent. My biggest priority of all is to continue to be a value for money authority – vital in light of the hardship we know many people are experiencing. I’m pleased we are still able to dedicate spend on the services and projects our residents tell us are most important to them. All members of the council will make a final decision on this budget next week.

*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

Comments are closed.