05:01PM, Friday 01 February 2019
Cllr Mohammed Nazir, Cllr James Swindlehurst, Neil Wilcox and Barry Stratfull
Households will pay an extra 3.9 per cent in overall council tax if the council’s 2019/20 budget is passed later this month.
The amount paid directly to Slough Borough Council (SBC) will increase by 2.8 per cent, meaning householders in a Band C property will pay an extra 60p a week to the local authority, in order for it to cover inflation costs.
Including funds for the police, fire service and adult social care – overall council tax is rising to £1,457.42 per year for Band C homes from £1,403.14.
The overall increase is down on the 4.7 per centrise in 2018/19 and SBC predicts it will have the lowest precept council tax rise in Berkshire.
Council leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) was joined by cabinet member for finance Cllr Mohammed Nazir (Lab, Baylis and Stoke), director of finance and resources Neil Wilcox, and service lead of finance Barry Stratfull for an SBC budget briefing on Tuesday in Bath Road.
At the meeting it wasconfirmed that SBC hasbalanced its budget for the next three financial years, despite having the vast majority of its government grant removed.
Cllr Nazir said: “We have managed to retain frontline services that other authorities have not, and still balanced our budget.”
In total, the council has saved £99.1 million since 2010 and requires savings of £12.4m in the new budget.
The authority revealed it will be budgeting £8.1m in growth funds for demand- led services, new contracts and service improvements in the town.
This will see an extra £1.4m ploughed into children’s services, £1.55m for waste contracts, £700,000 for adult social care, £500,000 for home to school transport, £750,000 for temporary accommodation, and £799,000 for service improvements.
SBC will receive £6.1m in government grants but has seen an overall decrease of £3.6m in central government funding from last year.
Under the Business Rates Pilot SBC will retain 75 per cent of its business rate income instead of 50 per cent, with the rest going to central government.
SBC has also set aside £200,000 as a ‘contingency case’ for potential Brexit fallout.
The budget will be voted on at a full council meeting at The Curve in William Street on Thursday,February 21 at 7pm.
Highlights of this year’s budget, which lays out £105million to spend, include:
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