Later this month Bath and North East Somerset Council will be presented with a budget package for the coming year.
If approved, it will see a combined Council Tax increase of £72.69 a year for a Band D property – that’s £1.40 a week.
It’s not a normal state of affairs says a council which – like many others – has been rocked by the turbulent financial impacts of the pandemic.
I have had a lengthy chat with the Cabinet Member for Resources – who is also Deputy Leader of the Council. Richard samuel is Liberal Democrat Councillor for Walcot Ward.
I put to him various points from the proposed budget including whether ratepayers will see their annual bill increasing for some years to come and whether still finding money to support Liveable Neighbourhoods and increased parking zones would be literally driving people away from a ‘High Street’ which will be in need of post-pandemic support.
We talked about is it time for students to pay council tax and could the Council save money by ditching its own somewhat criticised development company? Will libraries be hit by shorter opening times and fewer staff?
See what you think.
Cabinet will consider the report at its meeting on Thursday 11 February at 6.30pm. It will also consider a pilot ‘good causes’ fund to help local charity, community and voluntary groups to reduce inequalities in the area.
The proposed B&NES Community Contribution Fund would be administered by the council but would not be used to supplement council services. Every penny donated would be used to fund local projects.
Following cabinet, the budget report will go to the Council’s Budget & Council Tax meeting on Tuesday 23 February at 6.30pm. Both meetings will be livestreamed on the council’s Youtube channel.
The budget papers can be found here:
Time to get creative. What can councils give back to communities in return for increasing tax?
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