Cabinet’s budget proposals04 February 2019
Kidderminster town centre economy, retail workers, shoppers and the more vulnerable members of our society are at the heart of new budget proposals, which look set to be agreed by Wyre District Council’s Cabinet next week (Tuesday 12 February).
The Cabinet is planning to introduce a new cheaper season ticket exclusively for Bromsgrove Street car park. It is hoped this will help shoppers, boost the local economy and provide retail workers with an alternative to on-road parking in residential areas. A full season ticket currently costs more than £700 a year; the new designated ticket for Bromsgrove Street car park would be just £300. The scheme would run for a 12 month trial starting in April 2019. This proposal is addition to the Cabinet’s recommendation to freeze all car parking prices across Wyre Forest in 2019-20.
Rough sleepers could also get a shelter in the district on the coldest winter nights. The Cabinet is proposing a new Rough Sleepers Night Shelter Protocol and is looking to put £13,500 a year towards the procurement of a comprehensive service across the county. It would mean rough sleepers would not have to travel to Redditch or Worcester for somewhere to stay, shower and get a hot meal.
Details of the Cabinet’s other budget proposals were published in December. A survey was carried and more than 400 people gave their views. There was support for all of the proposals put forward. This includes:
- Freezing car parking charges across Wyre Forest for 2019-20
- Investing £30,000 to maintain standards of highway verges for 2019-20
- Strengthening the council’s environmental protection and enforcement team with a new fixed term post with costs partly offset by an increase in income.
- Providing extra support to the planning enforcement team which will be funded entirely by service efficiencies and increased income from planning fees.
- Raising income generation targets by £75,000 in 2019-20
- Increasing the amount of Council Tax for district council services by 2.39% in 2019-20
- Topping up the district’s Community Localism Fund to continue the excellent partnership working with Parish and Town Councils and other local organisations to safeguard local services and facilities.
- Continuing to provide £33,000 for the Community Leadership Fund which supports local charities and good causes in every ward of the district.
Councillor Nathan Desmond, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources said:
“This is a listening budget and one that tries to build political consensus. We have incorporated two significant proposals from other political groups that builds upon our original budget proposals and we are hopeful this final edition can obtain wide political support. We are proposing a budget which delivers for Wyre Forest residents and we’ve done this in the face of years of unprecedented cuts to local government budgets. We have also listened to what our residents have said, and carefully weighed up the need to invest in services while keeping any additional financial burden to residents to a minimum. I believe this is a fair and balanced budget that will allow us to do just that.”
Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said:
“We have listened very carefully to what the public have said to us. A clear majority support paying a little extra Council Tax in order to protect services. We have a strong record of keeping Council Tax under control and over the last 9 years it has been well under inflation overall. This year's increase at 2.39% is just an extra £5 per year on a Band D property."
The Cabinet meeting can be viewed live at 6pm on Tuesday 12 February on the council’s webcast at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/webcast.
For full details please see the Cabinet Agenda.