Responses to budget consultation 2024/2025

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The consultation on the draft Budget 2024-25 was open from Friday 15 December to Monday 22 January. There were 391 responses from residents, businesses and other stakeholders. The draft budget will be discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday 20 February 2024 at 7pm. The full agenda and papers are available from Agenda for Cabinet on Tuesday 20 February 2024, 7.00 pm (moderngov.co.uk).

A high level summary of the results of the budget consultation is below.

Council Tax

  • 50% support/strongly support a 2.99% increase in council tax. Reasons include acknowledgement of historic low-level of council tax collection, rising costs and the need to continue to invest in services and amenities across the borough. Some people support increasing council tax above 2.99%.
  • 34% oppose/strongly oppose. Reasons include concern about the efficiency and effectiveness of prior and future spending decisions, financial management at the Council, the lack of visible benefits to individuals and decline in services and places around the borough and concerns about affordability given the rises in the cost of living.
  • 16% neither support nor oppose. Reasons were similar to those given by people who support or oppose including recognition of rising costs, concern about deterioration of services.

Adult Social Care Precept

  • 47% support/strongly support the 2% increase. Reasons include recognition of aging population and rising cost and demand for these services, the need to protect the most vulnerable in society, and recognising that fundamental changes to the funding isn’t within the capacity of council.
  • 27% oppose/strongly oppose. Reasons include lack of trust in council to deliver value for money services and discontent with national government approach to funding adult social care.
  • 26% neither support nor oppose. Reasons include lack of understanding or awareness of the services currently provided and how the increase would benefit service users.
  • People who commented were keen that services were only provided to those genuinely in need and that services were easy to navigate.

Budget proposals

  • 29% agree/strongly agree
  • 40% disagree/strongly disagree
  • 31% neither agree nor disagree.

Themes emerging from comments include:

  • Museum, libraries, tourist information centre: support for funding to continue for these services.
  • Parking: concern about the wider impacts of increasing parking charges including on quality of town centres, local businesses, tourism and residents.
  • Communication: recognition of some improvements compared to last year but concern about lack of detail in some proposals, lack of clarity and transparency.
  • Economy, revenue and income generation: Lack of ambition and imagination in generating revenue, some proposals viewed as ‘short-sighted’.
  • Equity: increase in tax and other charges not falling equitably, and benefits are not equitable
  • Contract management: concern that contracts are poorly enforced, work is of poor quality and often requiring redoing at the expense of residents, inefficiencies in contract management between parishes and council.
  • Ways of working: concern about accountability, quality and pay of staff

The consultation on the draft Budget 2024-25 was open from Friday 15 December to Monday 22 January. There were 391 responses from residents, businesses and other stakeholders. The draft budget will be discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday 20 February 2024 at 7pm. The full agenda and papers are available from Agenda for Cabinet on Tuesday 20 February 2024, 7.00 pm (moderngov.co.uk).

A high level summary of the results of the budget consultation is below.

Council Tax

  • 50% support/strongly support a 2.99% increase in council tax. Reasons include acknowledgement of historic low-level of council tax collection, rising costs and the need to continue to invest in services and amenities across the borough. Some people support increasing council tax above 2.99%.
  • 34% oppose/strongly oppose. Reasons include concern about the efficiency and effectiveness of prior and future spending decisions, financial management at the Council, the lack of visible benefits to individuals and decline in services and places around the borough and concerns about affordability given the rises in the cost of living.
  • 16% neither support nor oppose. Reasons were similar to those given by people who support or oppose including recognition of rising costs, concern about deterioration of services.

Adult Social Care Precept

  • 47% support/strongly support the 2% increase. Reasons include recognition of aging population and rising cost and demand for these services, the need to protect the most vulnerable in society, and recognising that fundamental changes to the funding isn’t within the capacity of council.
  • 27% oppose/strongly oppose. Reasons include lack of trust in council to deliver value for money services and discontent with national government approach to funding adult social care.
  • 26% neither support nor oppose. Reasons include lack of understanding or awareness of the services currently provided and how the increase would benefit service users.
  • People who commented were keen that services were only provided to those genuinely in need and that services were easy to navigate.

Budget proposals

  • 29% agree/strongly agree
  • 40% disagree/strongly disagree
  • 31% neither agree nor disagree.

Themes emerging from comments include:

  • Museum, libraries, tourist information centre: support for funding to continue for these services.
  • Parking: concern about the wider impacts of increasing parking charges including on quality of town centres, local businesses, tourism and residents.
  • Communication: recognition of some improvements compared to last year but concern about lack of detail in some proposals, lack of clarity and transparency.
  • Economy, revenue and income generation: Lack of ambition and imagination in generating revenue, some proposals viewed as ‘short-sighted’.
  • Equity: increase in tax and other charges not falling equitably, and benefits are not equitable
  • Contract management: concern that contracts are poorly enforced, work is of poor quality and often requiring redoing at the expense of residents, inefficiencies in contract management between parishes and council.
  • Ways of working: concern about accountability, quality and pay of staff
Page last updated: 01 Mar 2024, 09:10 AM