Allerdale Borough Council’s budget for 2020/21 has been agreed following a meeting of the full council last night (March 4, 2020).
The budget outlines how the Council will provide funding for services and schemes in order to deliver the key priorities outlined in the new 10-year Council Strategy which was launched earlier this year.
The budget has been set in the climate of continued financial pressures for local authorities. While the Council is due to receive an inflationary rise in its funding from central government next year, the amount it receives in government grants has dropped by 96 per cent since 2013/14 to just under £200,000.
The authority receives income from various sources including council tax, government grants and business rates.
This year the Council has decided to increase its portion of council tax, with a below-inflation rise of one per cent. This will mean an increase of just £1.73 a year on a band D bill (around 3p a week) or a rise of just £1.15 a year for those in a band A property (2p a week).
Less than 10 per cent of the average council tax bill goes towards services provided by Allerdale Borough Council with the majority going to Cumbria County Council, and the rest to Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner and local town and parish councils.
The proposals were drawn up after an extensive consultation exercise carried out in recent months. The Council received some 479 responses to its budget consultation. Of the proposals, respondents on the whole felt the council should generate more of its own income and make better use of its buildings and assets.
Other changes residents will see in the next financial year is through the creation of a 100 per cent-owned council company to deliver waste services in Allerdale. Through this new service the Council will, in certain circumstances, introduce charges to cover the cost of new/replacement bins and their delivery. The charges will come into effect from April 1, 2020.
However, there are no plans to introduce a charge for garden waste collections or move to fortnightly collections. Recycling rounds are also unchanged.
The budget also includes a raft of other measures such as:
- £2.2m towards the development of Lillyhall in Workington which, if agreed, will unlock ambitious proposals for the site with the Council applying to the LEP for funding
- £5m to support investment and regeneration
- An estimated £52,000 extra income from the decision to bring the market services back in-house
- Continued support for Wigton Baths
- £40,000 towards a new role working with the police in the Community Hub to help continue the success it has had in addressing anti-social behaviour
More details about the budget can be found here: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/news-and-blog/allerdale-s-executive-agrees-2020-21-budget-proposals/.
Councillor Jim Lister, Executive member for finance and legal, said: “This budget allows the Council to continue investing in key services while limiting the impact on the council tax payer. But we have recognised that the Council can no longer deliver services in the way it used to.
“We have made significant changes and have already achieved many savings but we still face difficult decisions ahead. However, we are confident in the ambition we set out in our Council Strategy of working towards being a financially secure council.”
Councillor Mike Johnson, deputy leader, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who responded to our budget consultation this year. The feedback we receive from our consultations is vital in helping us set our priorities and objectives and we have really taken on board what our residents and businesses told us during this exercise.”