Bromley balances budget through tough savings and small council tax rise
Published Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Bromley Council’s balanced budget recommended by the Executive on 11 February was agreed at Full Council on Monday, 23 February.
The council has to save more than £60 million over four years, so nearly £9 million savings and a small increase in the Bromley element of the council ax were necessary to balance the 2015-2016 budget.
Bromley residents will see a net increase of 1.2 per cent in their council tax bills. This is made up of an increase of 1.99 per cent on the Bromley element of the council tax and a 1.3 per cent reduction in the GLA element. The combined effect of both will equate to a £16 increase a year on a band D property, with other bands calculated pro rata.
Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Carr said: “It is regrettable that we have had to make a small increase in council tax this year, but this decision was not taken lightly. During our budget consultations over the past couple of years, many residents told us they would be prepared to accept a small rise to help protect essential services. The truth is we have to do things differently as we continue to look for more efficiencies.
“Residents can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to ensure the long-term stability of the council’s finances and to spend taxpayers’ money wisely. These are challenging times - as budgets contract we will all have to take more responsibility and accountability within our families and communities so we can ensure those who need our services most can get the help they require.
“Following discussions with Bromley Youth Music Trust, which ended yesterday, I am pleased we have been able to reach a joint solution. Bromley Council has agreed to make £153,000 of funding available to the Trust in 2015-16, as well as maintaining support, until 2017, through the provision of premises. We want to continue to support BYMT but in the current financial climate, it no longer seems appropriate to do so through the council’s revenue budget. We will continue working with BYMT to explore other sources of funding such as the Arts Council, schools and commercial sponsors.
“Despite the bleak financial outlook, we are determined to continue Building a Better Bromley. A number of achievements are in progress including the development of a multi-million pound complex at Bromley South and improvements to Bromley North Village, working with TfL to provide improvements in Beckenham, while Orpington will see a new cinema opened this year. We have maintained our track record in recycling half our waste to save landfill costs, saved more than £70,000 in electricity costs by installing modern street lighting and encouraged more than 8,000 Friends Group members. We support carers in the borough and older people and disabled residents are helped to be as independent as possible, while our young people are encouraged to achieve their full potential. Together with support from our residents, we are doing everything we can to keep Bromley a good place in which to live, work and enjoy their leisure time .”
|Property Band||Council/GLA Split
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