Cllr Alaric Smith and Cllr Andy Graham

West Oxfordshire District Council to agree balanced budget amid ‘intense financial pressure’ on Local Government

West Oxfordshire District Council's Executive has agreed a balanced budget for the next financial year as it looks to sensibly manage the impact of increased costs and reduced Government funding on the Council's finances.

Councillor Alaric Smith, Executive Member for Finance, said:

“Our District Council is dealing with the national financial challenge facing all of Local Government because of inflation, cuts to Government funding over the past ten years, and the increasing need for services. 

“We are having to plan year by year due to a lack of long-term funding commitments from the Government. An expected change to Local Government funding could also mean we lose up to 37.5% of our current funding in the coming years and we have to plan for that. 

“While there is a challenge, we believe that with careful financial management, we can minimise the impact of those cuts as we prepare for the future. Our aim will be to keep delivering the good local services that residents expect and to invest in our local area where we have the money to do so. 

“We would like to thank all the residents who responded to our budget consultation. We have listened to all the responses, and they have helped shape the budget we've agreed. 

“As part of our plans, we will keep working with our local partners like the County Council, and through other regional partnerships, to combine resources to make a bigger difference for our communities. 

“We are continually working on improving the services you receive and also looking at how we can be more efficient, so we make the best use of taxpayers' money.” 

The budget, agreed by Executive, is balanced for the 2024/25 financial year but highlights risks in the future due to uncertainty around Government funding.  

It includes a raise in Council Tax of around 10p per week for the average band D property and increases to the cost of the garden waste service. This funding will go towards funding local services. 

As part of the Local Government funding settlement, local councils were expected to raise Council Tax. There was additional funding provided by Government following pressure from local councils, although this only gave West Oxfordshire an increase of less than 1%. 

Only 10% of the Council Tax collected is spent by the District Council, with the rest being passed to the County Council, Parish Councils, and Police and Fire services. 

The budget will be considered by Full Council on 28 February 2024. 

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

West Oxfordshire District Council only receives around 10% of a council tax bill, with the rest going to the county council, fire service, police and parish councils. With that money, the council delivers over 50 services including waste collections, planning services, help for homeless people, leisure centres and many others. Other Council services such as roads maintenance, libraries, adult social care and children's services are provided by Oxfordshire County Council. 

The full budget papers can be accessed here:  

Photo caption: Left: Councillor Alaric Smith Cabinet Member for Finance and Leader of the Council Councillor Andy Graham at the Executive meeting in Chipping Norton.