Ambitious Budget For Newbury Town Council

The Town Council has just published a final draft of the Council’s Strategy and the budget for 2020-21. Both the Strategy and the budget will be considered by the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee at a meeting next Monday evening, 20 January 2020. The overall spending proposed in the budget is £2.165 million, funded by Council tax, Developer Levies, a Public Works loan and use of internal reserves.

Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council, said that this budget demonstrated that the Liberal Democrats were working to deliver the commitments made to the people of Newbury at the Town Council elections last year:

“Immediately after the elections, this Council declared a Climate Emergency. Since then we have been working hard to take actions that will help address climate change. The new Strategy shows that we are serious about this and the budget will give us the resources to make real improvements. We are also keen to address the need for more youth work in Newbury and are setting up a new fund to support partners to deliver vital support for our young people who need it”.

He continued, “Highlights from our budget include:• £485,000 for the new Community café in Victoria Park with a design that has been modified to reduce its environmental impact both during the build and then during its lifetime

  • £250,000 to upgrade the City Recreation Ground, Skyllings and other play areas around the town
  • £39,000 for actions to address the Climate Emergency including a fund to support local environmental groups in their work to reduce CO2 emissions in Newbury
  • £25,000 for youth work in Newbury
  • £12,000 towards at least one specialist hoist in public toilets in Newbury
  • £10,000 to support improvements to the canal through our Canal Corridor Action Plan.

I am delighted that we are able to provide these additional services for our residents and to help make Newbury a town we can all be proud of. This budget will increase our spending by almost 20%, most of which will come from savings versus last year’s revenue expenditure, contributions from developers, a Public Works loan and unspent reserves. The remaining balance – needed to cover inflationary rises in our core costs and a reduction in our income – will be achieved by an increase of £6.85 (13 pence per week) in the precept paid by Newbury households.”

The proposed Strategy and the budget for 2020-21 can be viewed on the Council’s website.

Both matters will be considered by the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Monday 20 January and the public can attend and hear the Council consider these items in detail. Members of the public are welcome to submit questions to the Council on these matters. These questions must be with the council by 2pm on Monday 20 January.

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