Uttlesford sets out budget plans for 2020-21

Uttlesford District Council has put forward its budget plans for 2020-21.

The budget papers, which set out the council's spending plans over the next financial year, will be debated and voted on by councillors at a meeting of Full Council on 25 February.

Despite facing reductions in the funding it receives from central government, the council is proposing to protect all services for next year. Investment will also be targeted in key areas, such as £300,000 towards supporting the delivery of the new Corporate Plan - part of which will be for climate change initiatives and, for example, to support residents through neighbourhood planning - and an additional £250,000 is set aside for the Local Plan.

If approved, the district council portion of the Council Tax bill will increase by £5 a year - about 10p a week - for an average Band D property. This will give the council around £70,000 extra funding.

Income from the council's commercial investment will provide £2.1m per year to help bridge the government funding gap and ensure the council can continue to deliver high quality services to residents. The Investment Board - which has been set up to develop the council's commercial portfolio - is working on further opportunities to significantly boost this income.

Cllr Neil Hargreaves, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: "In a challenging financial climate in which all councils have suffered severe cuts in government funding, I am pleased to present this balanced budget. All services are fully supported for next year, and we've allocated money to help with initiatives such as those within the Corporate Plan.

"There is still uncertainty ahead as we await the outcome of the government's longer term funding review and we are making sure we're as prepared as possible. We will continue to monitor the way we do things, make the best of the resources we have to benefit our residents, and look for new income generation projects in order to make the council independent of government controlled funding."

The budget report and papers can be viewed on the Budget pages.

18 February 2020