Budget proposals to be considered by the Executive
Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive is to consider its budget for 2019/20 at its meeting of 25 February 2019.
The balanced budget for next year has been produced against a backdrop of cuts which has seen the government’s Revenue Support Grant dropping from £2.5m in 2015/16 to £196,000 in 2019/20.
Despite this, the council continues to maintain services, such as weekly bin collections, as well as invest in capital projects within Allerdale. The council also remains focused on driving down costs through efficiency savings and transforming its services, whilst seeking ways to increase income.
The budget proposes a council tax increase of £5 for a band D property, with proportionate increases for other bands. This equates to an increase of just under 10p a week.
Even with this proposed increase, the annual council tax amount for a band D property remains the lowest of all the Cumbrian districts.
The budget proposals include a number of savings in the council’s revenue budget. These include £318,000 from the new grounds maintenance and street cleaning services contract through efficiency savings; and a further £508,000 has been saved through a reduction in service costs brought about by the council’s new waste contract and a review of commercial waste pricing. There is also a proposed further saving of £35,000 from the removal of purple bags to collect recycling.
The budget also includes more money for improvements and services in Allerdale’s towns. It is proposed that £50,000 be set aside for the popular ‘shopfront scheme’, to improve the shop frontages in Silloth and Aspatria, with a further £30,000 to support the swimming pools in Maryport and Wigton.
The proposed capital budget also includes a number of investment schemes into Allerdale’s communities. These include:
- £150k towards the creation of a “container village” attraction of food and other stalls at Maryport harbour as part of the Council’s regeneration project for the town
- £100,000 to enable ten empty homes to be brought back into use;
- the conversion of a property on Otley Road in Keswick into much needed affordable housing costing £130k;
The council has also been in discussion with Workington Reds football club and Workington Town rugby league club about building a new 8,000 capacity community stadium in Workington, after they jointly approached the council. The capital budget proposals therefore includes provision for an indicative capital bid of £25m. This is based on an assumption this amount would be funded from borrowing, however this is all subject to a final business case and detailed financial appraisal which is due in the next few months.
The council has carried out extensive consultation to support the proposals in its budget. The Survey of Residents carried out in the summer of 2018, showed very high levels of satisfaction in their local area. Some 71% of residents were satisfied with council services overall and 93% satisfied with how their waste was collected. The majority of residents supported a rise in council tax if it protected services that were important to them. This was backed by responses to the council’s budget consultation which ended earlier this year.
The budget is due to be considered by the Executive on 25 February 2019, before going to Council on 6 March 2019.
More details on the budget can be found at: