Council budget gap set to hit our pockets


A consultation is underway on how to bridge a £300,000 funding gap

To help them balance the books next year, Cherwell District Council is proposing to introduce charges for replacement bins and food caddies and a £5 increase in their portion of the Council Tax.

The toilets at Banbury bus station could also be closed as part of cost cutting measures.

The ideas have been revealed within a consultation on the Council’s budget plans for 2023/24, which is now underway.

An increase in car parking charges of no more than 10pence per hour each year up to 2028 was agreed last year and isn’t therefore included in this year’s consultation.

Cherwell says that it, alongside other councils, is facing significant financial pressures driven by rising costs, particularly in energy, fuel, and materials.   Savings of £1.5 million are needed to produce a legally acceptable budget.

A number of measures internally have closed the gap by £1.2million but a further £300,000 is required to balance the books.   The consultation seeks public opinion on ideas as to how to achieve that.

If the proposals go through anyone needing a new wheeled bin will have to pay £40, with charges of £10 for a large food caddy and £5 for a small caddy.

The increase in Cherwell’s portion of the Council Tax is at the maximum level allowable by law and follows equivalent £5 increases for the last couple of years.   The council points out that the proposed £5 increase works out at less than 10p per week for an average band D property.

Savings of £30,000 are proposed by removing CCTV cameras where the Council and its partners have duplication covering the same area, or where the coverage is across private property rather than a public area.   Previous proposals to remove funding for CCTV surveillance back in 2022 were withdrawn after a public outcry.

The consultation runs until Friday, 22 December 2023.

Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “In these challenging financial times, maintaining our financial prudence and commitment to being a well-run, fiscally responsible council is more important than ever.

“We are dedicated to finding solutions that protect the services our residents value while navigating through these budgetary constraints impacted so significantly by the national economic picture and inflationary pressures that are seeing substantial increases to our costs.

“We recognise the importance of community input in these decisions, which is why we call for people to share their views during this budget consultation.”

To take part in the consultation follow this link.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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