Council pledges to maintain services in the coming year
West Oxfordshire District Council will maintain services in the coming financial year despite the ongoing effects of Covid-19.
That was the clear message delivered to the Council’s Cabinet as the proposed Budget for 2021-22 was discussed.
Efficiency savings made in previous years will ensure that all services and benefits such as free parking and levels of community grants are maintained.
The Cabinet recommended that council tax should rise by just £5 a year which is within Government guidelines.
It means the council’s charge for the average Band D property in the District will be £109.38 or £2.10 a week.
Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “It has been an extraordinary year and we can’t deny Covid-19 has had an impact on Council finances with reduced income and funding.
“But we have listened to residents and are determined to maintain and even enhance services. Efficiency savings amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds have been made over recent years including £300,000 this year alone which have helped ensure this happens.
“So we will continue to deliver on services and on our Covid-19 recovery plan to the benefit of everyone in the District.”
The proposed Budget follows a consultation run in January which generated more than 200 responses from residents and businesses.
Around 60 per cent agreed with the proposed £5 increase in council tax while respondents said they felt strongly that the Council should not introduce fees for parking.
When asked to rank the Council priorities in order of importance, the economy scored highest with healthy towns and villages and climate action coming a close second and third.
The Council has also pledged to search for investment opportunities that will help maintain its Budget levels in future years.
The Council’s Cabinet voted to recommend the Budget to full Council which meets next Wednesday.