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Have your say on budget

News release issued:

Residents are being urged to have their say on a range of budget proposals put forward by Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet.

At its meeting last night (Wednesday 20 December 2023), the Cabinet agreed proposals which it is considering for its Medium Term Financial Strategy. They are actions it is suggesting to help the council deliver its corporate plan. These include offering an hour’s free parking scheme in three car parks in the district, continuing the Community Leadership Fund, introducing more accessible play equipment, recruiting an additional civil enforcement officer and increasing spending on litter picking.

The Cabinet is also proposing increasing the district council’s proportion of the Council Tax bill by three per cent. This would be an increase of £7.08 in 2024 for Band D households, less than 14p per week. Most properties in the district fall into Band B or C so will pay less than that.

The Council’s budget is important because it sets out how much money it has available and where it will be spent as it aims to make Wyre Forest a safe, vibrant and clean place to live, work and visit.

At the moment the Council is spending more on services than it receives in income. In 2022-23 it had to use £373,000 of reserves to fund services. In 2024-25 it is expected to have to use £395,000 of reserves to balance the budget. Based on current levels of expenditure it is expected the Council will have used all its reserves in 2027.

The Cabinet now wants the public’s view on its plans before final budget proposals are drawn up. This is to make sure any decision to increase expenditure helps to meet Council priorities and is supported by residents and businesses.

Councillor David Ross, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Capital Portfolio said:

“The survey is the public’s chance to have their say on the proposals we’re putting forward. The proposals are all designed to help us deliver on the corporate plan.  We have done this with our financial situation in mind. Like many councils across the country, we are feeling the financial pressure from inflation and other price rises. To help close our funding gap we are looking to set new income targets for our commercial activities as well as making more efficiency savings.”

“We are asking residents to spend a few minutes completing the online survey, so we can gauge the support for our proposals.”

A short survey to gather feedback on the Cabinet’s key proposals is now live on the council’s website. Residents can visit our budget consultation webpage to take part.

The survey closes at 5pm on Thursday 18 January 2024.

Full details of the proposals, including the costings, can be found in Medium Term Financial Strategy report in the Cabinet agenda. 

The final proposals will go to Full Council at the annual budget setting meeting in February.

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