Date: 7 March 2018
Brentwood Borough Council has set a bold and ambitious budget that invests in the future of the borough and in community facilities that are important to local people.
Setting out the investment and spending programme for the coming year, the plans include a continued commitment to ensuring the best service levels are maintained, including weekly black bag collections, whilst also looking at new revenue generating opportunities.
Leader Cllr Louise McKinlay said; “This is a strong, bold and ambitious budget that has our residents at the heart. We continue to show how we can operate in a prudent and innovative way, tackling the continuing challenges facing local government. This budget builds on this legacy as we work better and smarter to free up money to go in to the areas that matter.”
The Council has delivered substantial savings that equate to an improvement of £6.7m in just two years, with further projects underway to save another £1.036m in the coming year.
The Leader continued; “By maximizing council assets to produce a steady income, further improving the way the council operates, forging ahead with regeneration of areas like William Hunter Way and our Town Centre plan, we can ensure that Brentwood remains able to meet the challenges in these changing times. “
As part of the Budget, a £5 per year increase has been agreed for a council tax Band D property. This is the equivalent to around 10p per week(*). The money will be directly reinvested in areas that benefit Brentwood residents.
From the £163,000 that will be generated by the rise, the Council has agreed to spend £60,000 on economic, business growth and skills development, with Environmental Street Scene & Action on Litter getting £50,000, making our borough even cleaner. Community Safety and Rural Broadband each benefit from a £15,000 cash injection, with Mental Health support receiving £10,000 and Play Areas an additional £13,000.
Leader Cllr Louise McKinlay added: “The budget includes nearly £2m for the multi storey car park improvements, £100,000 for digital transformation that will make a huge difference to the way the council operates and the cost of providing services, together with £25,000 to protect areas of land from unauthorised incursions. Our play areas will see significant cash injection and the £4m, which is allocated for the Town Hall refurbishment is an investment in our future through the creation of apartments and office space that will provide an income to the council in to the future. This is a strong budget for a Brentwood and one which I am proud to deliver.”
**(*) £5 per year equates to 0.961p per week or 0.01369p per day per Band D Property.
** The council continues to face funding pressures with the central Government grant being cut completely in 2018/2019. This follows an erosion of government funding from £1.259m in 2015/2016 to £233,000 in 2017/2018.
** The council has seen its balance go from a negative £3.6m in 2016, to a positive balance of £3.1m forecast for 2018/2019. This equates to an overall improvement of £6.7m.
** Further efficiencies from operational service reviews, management initiatives and lease income will produce overall savings of £1.036m in the next financial year
**The Council has achieved: 1st place in Essex and 7th in the country for Planning and Development management, an Environmental Health Department that is ranking in the top 3 nationally and awards for its partnership work in Revenues & Benefits
Media Contact: Lorne Spicer
Tel: 01277 312630