Have your say on Cotswold District Council’s budget as Council looks to ‘weather the storm’ of local government cuts in the face of rising costs
Residents and businesses in the Cotswolds are being urged to give their views on the District Council’s spending plans as it prepares its budget for the next financial year. The focus of the budget will be on continuing to deliver services as running costs increase as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine and the national economic situation.
Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “As your local District Council, we are committed to caring for the Cotswolds in all we do. A key part of that is managing our budgets wisely, so we can continue to deliver the services you rely on.
“This year has seen large rises in costs for both residents and businesses as a result of Putin’s war in Ukraine and the national economic turmoil we are facing. We appreciate the impact this is having on you. It has also had a big impact on the Council’s finances. We have seen large increases in costs for fuel to collect bins, energy to run buildings and other inflation-related pressures.
“The impact of increased costs to the Council means we have to work even harder to deliver our services efficiently. We will also ask the Government to provide the funding councils need to support their local communities – especially important for Cotswold District Council following a decade of cuts in the Council’s core government funding.
“We are an ambitious council that wants to invest in our District, but expect that these difficult times will mean we have to slow down the delivery of our ambitions to make sure we manage the Council’s finances very carefully. This may mean borrowing money wisely to invest in improvements and using some of our limited reserves to help us through the next two years.
“We are confident that if we pull together as a community, as we did during the pandemic, we will be able to weather this financial storm. We want to make sure we come through the next two years in a strong position so we can continue the work on our priorities of responding to the climate emergency, strengthening our local economy and providing homes for rent that local people can afford.
“I would urge everyone to complete our short survey once it is live on 8 November or join us at one of our forthcoming engagement events to have your say on how we manage your local council.”
The Council is keen to gather residents’ views on key areas in the proposed council budget including council tax levels and charges in Cotswold District car parks to help fund local services and to hear your suggestions about how it could raise additional revenue or lower its costs.
As part of the consultation, the Council will hold a series of engagement events at supermarkets across the district so residents can speak with Council members and officers and ask any questions they may have about the Council or its finances.
The budget consultation survey will start on Tuesday 8 November and will be live on the Cotswold District Council website at www.cotswold.gov.uk/budget until Friday 9 December.