Budget agreed with £344m to be spent on services
Budget proposals detailing Wiltshire Council's clear direction for 2020/21 and its financial strategy for the next four years, have been agreed.
The plans, signed off at today's (25 February) meeting of full council include continued investment in the key day-to-day services the public rely on, such as highways and waste, and ensuring the increased demand for adult and children services is met.
Among many other services, the council has also confirmed its intention to invest in three of its corporate priorities including; money going towards a team to support its climate change programme; installation of new cycle paths and footways; and further support for economic development in South Wiltshire to continue the revitalisation of the area.
There will be a steady growth in Wiltshire Council's budget of around £10M per year rising from around £344m to £386m over the next five years. The council is also expected to invest around £800m in capital projects over the next decade.
It was agreed that council tax will increase by 1.99% and an additional social care levy of 2% on top of that.
Over the next year the council will spend around £344 million on more than 350 services as they focus to ensure it continues to operate on a strong financial base in challenging times.
To address the budget pressures, council programmes around community responsibility, digital and commercial will continue to explore all options available. There are also a number of central government funding papers in the pipeline such as the Fair Funding Review, Business Rates Retention and Sustainable Social Care.
Cllr Simon Jacobs, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, said: "Despite the financial and increased demand pressures all local authorities are facing, we continue to be an ambitious and forward-thinking council.
As a council we have always delivered a balanced budget and we're proud to be able to continue to invest in key services that strengthen our communities. We are investing in the vital day-to-day services that people rely upon, ensuring adults and children continue to get the care support they need, while looking at digital and commercial opportunities as well as tackling the carbon issue head-on.
Of course, we are very mindful of the continuing challenges, but we have always planned carefully and are in a strong position to react effectively to any issues that may come our way.
In the 2020/21 financial year, a band D household will pay £1,515.00 to Wiltshire Council.
You can watch a replay of the meeting.
Cllr Jacobs' budget speech can be found below.