New budget will enhance services and infrastructure

Published: Thursday, 25th January 2018

Plans for next year’s budget, which will enhance valued services and preserve the lowest Council Tax outside of London, will be discussed at Full Council next month.

The Royal Borough is proposing an increase in Council Tax of 1.95 percent, equivalent to an extra £17.85 on a Band D property, just 34p a week.

There is also a proposed three percent adult social care precept, equivalent to £28.85 on a Band D property, just 55p a week. Alongside a £6.4million investment from the council this money will help support older people and residents with special needs.

Cllr MJ Saunders, cabinet member for finance, said: “This budget will keep Council Tax at the lowest level outside of London while continuing to invest in high quality, value for money services.

“We will keep all 14 of the borough’s libraries open and continue to offer a range of services at our 10 children’s centres.

“We are building a borough for everyone and investing £10.6million in improving road infrastructure including LED street lights and safety schemes which is part of our wider commitment to support the emerging Borough Local Plan.

“Meanwhile we are spending £1.3million on an improved CCTV system to keep our communities safe, £120,000 on CCTV in car parks and keeping 18 community wardens as familiar points of contact for residents.

“Residents will still benefit from free parking permits and we have earmarked £2.6million to carry out major infrastructure improvements in Windsor, this year and into next.”

As part of this proposed budget off street parking charges in some areas are set to increase for visitors but will not change for Advantage card holders. Other fees and charges that increase will be capped at RPI.

The budget will also set out £5.4million of savings the council proposes to make.

This will allow the council to invest in enhancing existing services including school expansion, free transport for low-income families and pupils with special needs, temporary accommodation for homeless residents and high quality, sustainable social care services for adults.

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council, said: “This is a budget that will deliver for residents now while offering so much to future generations.

“It will help us build a borough for everyone where people can enjoy living, working and raising their families.

“We are still offering £300,000 in dedicated community grants to help the valuable work other groups do on behalf of residents.

“The Royal Borough is a fantastic place to live with children scoring in the top 25 percent nationally for exam results and 86 percent of schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.

“A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into this ambitious budget which secures the services our residents value most, invests in enhancing our borough and maintains the lowest Council Tax outside of London.”

The 2018/19 budget has already been discussed by Overview & Scrutiny Committees, Cabinet and Full Council after the council launched earlier proposals in November. It will now be debated again at Overview and Scrutiny Committees before going in front of the Cabinet and Full Council for a final decision in February.

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