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How will your council tax be spent? Council outlines money plan for 2020 to 2021

Published
06.03.2020

Following approval by full council on Thursday 27 February, the city council has outlined how the budget for the coming financial year will be spent.

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Ahead of council tax letters being issued to residents in Gloucester this month, the city council is outlining where the approved budget of £13.7 million for 2020 to 2021 will be spent.

There are new earmarked reserves being introduced, including £100,000 earmarked for tackling climate change, and the same amount for homelessness prevention and intervention measures.

Two of the amendments put forward by opposition councillors were approved at full council on Thursday 27 February 2020. They include a one off sum of £6,000 to buy public access defibrillators, and £100,000 for an environmental impact fund to deal with small areas of public open spaces and community gardens.

Key elements of the budget include:

  • £200k for a marketing reserve to support the development of a new Destination Marketing organisation
  • £100k will go into a homelessness reserve which will help to support the housing strategy and implement a private landlord scheme
  • £100k into a climate change reserve, to make positive improvements that will reduce the council’s carbon footprint, and limit the negative impact on the environment – including offering each councillor 300 trees to plant in their ward which will deliver nearly 12000 new trees in Gloucester
  • £100k into an neighbourhood environmental improvement fund, which will be used to deliver improvements in community gardens and open spaces
  • £30k into a communities reserve to further the work of Citysafe and Street Aware
  • £39k into an asset management reserve for increased building maintenance management and set the scene for proactive planning
  • New street recycling bins in the city centre to further encourage Gloucester’s increasing rate of recycling
  • A city centre spring clean

Any additional funding for the budget, above what is allocated by central government, will be raised through a 2.48% increase in city council precept (£5 per year for band D homes).

The approved budget highlights there are currently no additional savings targets in the plan despite the continuing challenging environment facing local government. Gloucester City Council’s stable financial position has been made possible by the council’s Property Investment Strategy. Without the returns and income generated, whilst also enabling the delivery of key council services, by the acquisitions such as St Oswald’s retail park and the Eastgate Shopping Centre, the council’s budget would be “very difficult” says Gloucester City Council leader, Cllr Richard Cook.

“Through our Property Investment strategy, we have income generation that will see us through the short, medium and long term.

“The budget for 2020 to 2021 reaffirms our commitment to delivering value and quality services for Gloucester.

“We will continue to invest in our vital frontline services and building stronger communities, as well as introducing new funding for tackling climate change and helping people out of homelessness and off the street.

“Against a difficult financial backdrop, the council’s ongoing prudence means the money plan can be delivered without needing to make any more savings.”

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