Cherwell District Council’s residents are now being asked to have their say on proposals for the council’s 2023/24 budget, which funds services such as waste collection, planning, and housing.
Published: Wednesday, 23rd November 2022
The budget consultation will run until 23 December. The council is proposing a total of £0.5m in savings while also committing to some key investments to support the district.
Many of the long-term financial issues the council currently faces are set to continue in the coming years. They include uncertainty around the government’s plans on resetting business rates and the winding down of the New Homes Bonus.
The council is also facing significant inflationary pressures related to the rising cost of living and a loss of income from car parks. Against this backdrop the budget proposals are focussed on measured back-office savings while seeking to minimise the impact on frontline services.
Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of the Council, said: “Despite the financial pressures local councils are facing, we are standing by our vision of high quality public services for a district which is a great place to live, work and prosper.
“I am pleased that alongside some difficult decisions, we have also been able to identify some areas of investment, such as a regeneration project for Bicester town centre. We are also standing by our commitment to helping residents navigate the cost of living crisis and continuing our work to cut our carbon emissions.”
Councillor Adam Nell, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “This is a prudent and well-thought out set of budget proposals. The key is to keep local services on a sustainable footing. By making back-office savings in some areas and increasing our income in others we will be able to minimise the impact on our frontline offering to residents.
“In December we will get the detail of the financial settlement from central government for local councils. That may change some of our calculations. But in the meantime, we want as many people as possible to have their say to help inform a budget that reflects our residents’ priorities.”
Some of the key savings proposed for 2023/24 include:
- Adopting a new approach to allocating grants the council receives - £40,000
- Increasing charges for licensing activities - £40,000
- Bringing rent collection for council properties in-house - £15,000
Although the council faces financial challenges, it still intends to invest in the district, including:
- Transforming the Market Square in Bicester (as part of the Reimaging Bicester Outline Plan) - £4.25m
- Investment in green energy to reduce its carbon emissions - £0.5m
The council sets its budget for 2023/24 on 27 February 2023. People can find further detail of the budget proposals and have their say before 23 December by visiting letstalk.cherwell.gov.uk/budget-consultation-2023-24