Published on 17 January 2023
An initiative to support the cost of living issues for some of those most in need, additional support on energy and financial advice, the continued delivery of all existing services and the introduction of further services are all among the draft proposals agreed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council's The Cabinet at its meeting today.
The proposals for the District Council's Revenue and Capital Budget for 2023/24 and a Medium Term Financial Strategy up to 2027/28 were approved. They will now go for consultation with residents, businesses and the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee prior to presentation to the Full Council meeting on 27 February for final ratification.
Sound financial management has been at the heart of the proposals. All current services are intended to be maintained. A sound financial strategy over the next 12 months, including savings of over £1.3m, together with interest accrued on solid investments, will enable the Council to continue its service provision.
Among the extra provision proposed in the 2023/24 Budget are:
The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) also makes provision to meet potential volatility in its funding in the form of a Business Rates Equalisation Reserve £2.8m. This ensures the council's financial stability over the MTFS period. Funding to support the District Council's £500,000 commitment to tackling climate change continues in 2023/24.
Residents in a Band D property will see a £5 increase (3.2%) in their council tax in line with Government recommendations. This increase will partly offset the increases in costs due to rising inflation. The Band D rate will now be £159.12 for 2023/24. Stratford-on-Avon remains a low-taxing authority, 19th lowest out of 181 district councils across the country in 2022/23.
Cllr Trevor Harvey, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: "The Cabinet is pleased to endorse a budget that both maintains all current provision of services, in itself an achievement given the rising costs involved, and builds on our current range of services that we provide.
"Sound and prudent financial management has meant that we are well placed to offer essential support to some of those hardest hit by the cost of living increases. We are giving support and advice where most needed to lessen the impact of energy price rises. Money has been set aside to safeguard the Council's finances as we move into the lifespan of the medium-term financial strategy so that we can deliver on our priorities.
"The proposed budget now goes out to the public, to businesses and to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for additional comment. The Cabinet wants this budget to meet the needs of our residents. We welcome input before any final decisions are taken. I am determined that the huge amount of work that has gone into its preparation will best meets the needs and aspirations of those who live and work in the district."
Full details of the budget proposed can be found here.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575