Have your say on Cotswold District Council services
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 aim is to gather as much feedback as possible on key areas such as the waste service, parking, climate change, leisure, grants and changes to the district’s local plan.
Three events will also be held in towns across the district before a report detailing respondents’ views is prepared for councillors to inform their Budget decisions.
Significantly, the budget is being prepared against a backdrop of continuing cuts in Government funding which have seen core funding fall from £5.9m in 2009 to £2.5m in 2019/20, a drop of 58.4 per cent. Further falls in Government funding are expected for 2021/22.
Councillors are keen to ensure that services will be maintained and enhanced while ensuring that the Council’s finances are sustainable and resilient.
Planned developments are set to include an improved waste service offering a separate food waste collection and more recycling, increased parking provision in Cirencester and investments in facilities such as Cirencester’s Corinium Museum.
The council’s survey will also gather views on how the council can raise additional income from investing in local property; to a proposed Council Tax rise of £5 a year for a Band D household. It will also ask for opinions on proposals to raise parking charges and the cost of garden waste collections.
Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “After 10 years of austerity it remains a difficult climate for district councils with decreasing Government funding and other financial pressures. Since 2010 we’ve had our government funding cut by nearly 60%.
“However, we’re committed to rebuilding your council, and this means not only maintaining services but enhancing and improving them. To do that we need as much feedback from residents and businesses as possible to ensure we have a sound budget in place for 2020-21 and beyond.
“I would encourage everyone to complete the consultation and help shape a sustainable and resilient financial future for the District. This is your Council’s budget, and we want to get it right.”
The drop-in events will all take place from 4-7pm at the Town Council offices in Tetbury on 9January, Cotswold DC’s Area Office in Moreton-in-Marsh on 14 January and the Bingham Gallery in Cirencester on 16 January.
Council officials will also be present in each town earlier in the day to distribute information and gather responses from residents.
For more information on the budget consultation, and to fill out the survey, go to www.cotswold.gov.uk/consultations