TAX bills, car parking charges and fees for garden waste look set to increase next year as council chiefs say they face a £3m rise in costs due to inflation.
Cotswold District Council finance chiefs who are currently working on next year’s budget say they face the toughest challenge in years.
The authority faces a potential funding deficit of almost £2m in a worst case scenario.
And as a result, they are considering a 1.99% council tax rise next year along with potential increases in car parking charges and garden waste fees.
Deputy leader and finance cabinet member Mike Evemy (LD, Siddington and Cerney Rural), says the figures are of “a scale beyond what we’ve had to look at in the last three years”.
“The situation regarding inflation is absolutely causing us as a council to have a very significant funding gap that we are having to bridge. With the cost pressures of over £3m. Our net revenue budget is £12.5m. You can see how big that is.
“We have worked with officers and partners at Ubico and Publica to generate savings to bridge that gap. We are working on the basis that we will have more than £1m of savings to close that gap.
“We are also looking at potential revenue increases. But that will still leave us with a gap of about £1.5m which is very significant.
“We do have revenue reserves we can use to fund that gap while we find our way to balance our budget in the medium term.
“The financial picture is tough and it is based on an assumption of the government funding position. In the best case scenario the council would have a deficit of £767,000 and in the worst case scenario of almost £2m.”
This variation depends on what the government decides to do regarding business rate retention and the new homes bonus which is based on the number of homes built in the district.
The council says it is keen to gather residents’ views on key areas in the proposed council budget including council tax levels and charges in car parks to help fund local services and to hear your suggestions about how it could raise additional revenue or lower its costs.
“We will go out to the public and ask them their view on our proposals to save money in car parking and raise more revenue from that,” Cllr Evemy said.
The budget consultation survey will start on Tuesday 8 November and will be live on the Cotswold District Council website at www.cotswold.gov.uk/budget until December 9.
A series of engagement events will also be held at supermarkets across the district so residents can speak with councillors and officers and ask any questions they may have about the council or its finances.
More information about the council’s priorities and council tax are available on the Cotswold District Council website.
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