BROMSGROVE District Council has rubber-stamped its annual budget saying, although the plan was both ‘challenging’ and ‘transitional’, it had managed to protect frontline services without the need for cuts.
Band D households will pay an extra £5 per year and £238 in total for the district council’s services which include waste and recycling collections, parks, play areas, events, planning applications and car parks.
With annual charges from Worcestershire County Council (£1,396.78), West Mercia Police and the PCC (£249.66) and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (£89.40), the total annual bill for Band D households will be £1,973.84 in unparished areas.
Annual bills for Band D households in areas with a parish council will range from £1,993.71 to £2,065.18.
The council said among its hardest decisions was not using the New Homes Bonus cash for community grants as that was needed ‘to support the authority’s overall financial position’.
Coun Geoff Denaro said: “This is a transitional budget in that we are emerging from a pandemic which not only had a massive impact on our communities, but the way this council served them with a lot of our back-office staff working from home and who continue to do so with the option of hot-desking.
Coun Denaro also told the chamber that the £397k left in Covid fund reserves was set to be used up and that car parking charges were still among the lowest in the county despite a projected revenue loss of more than £200k for 22/23.
Bromsgrove District Council leader Karen May said she was proud it had not cut any frontline services.
“We did leave 2021 on a high with the £14.5m levelling up fund investment which is earmarked for specific projects at two sites and also sees this Council putting £1.6million. towards it.
“Creating a Better Bromsgrove for everyone is still our main priority and we continue to freeze our car parking charges in a bid to attract shoppers to our centres, supporting our independent traders who were hit by the lockdowns of the last two years.
“While we welcomed the alternative budgets put together by colleagues in the chamber, I believe ours is realistic and is a balance of tough decisions and investment in areas which will benefit our residents.”