A message from the Leader of our District Council, Cllr Joe Harris
Tough times require tough decisions and that is the theme of our budget this year.
The budget was agreed by the Full Council a few weeks ago and it was set in the context of one of the most challenging years on record, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of inflation and the continued uncertainty about the future financing of local government.
Putting it simply, the services the Council provides are costing more to deliver and the money we receive to pay for them is reducing.
The Government assumes that councils will raise Council Tax in order to maintain their current level of funding.
This raised difficult questions for the Council this year, as we do not believe raising Council Tax and increasing fees, such as parking charges, is a sustainable long-term solution and ultimately hits you, the residents we represent, in the pocket.
Since 2010, the Government has cut the District Council’s core funding by around 60%. This year is no different and over the next few years, we’re preparing for further cuts to our funding which could see as much as a third of our Government funding wiped out.
I want to stress that it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re working hard to weather this financial storm and looking at different and innovative ways we can fund and run our services.
That has included saving and raising over £400,000 last year through efficiencies and bringing in nearly £2.5 million in external funding which is explained across these pages.
Alongside managing our finances carefully, we want to continue to invest in the Cotswolds to help tackle some of the important issues we all face such as responding to the climate emergency, helping to keep our communities clean and green and improving transport. We have outlined the key areas we believe we can invest in to make a difference and help shape the future of the Cotswolds.
The Council continues to provide good quality services and it’s great to see that we remain one of the best councils in the country for recycling.
We know how hard the cost of living crisis is hitting some of our residents. We’ve introduced one of the most generous Council Tax reduction schemes in the country, so if you’re worried you’ll struggle to pay your Council Tax, please get in touch or by calling us on 01285 623000.
Joe Harris - Leader of Cotswold District Council
Investing in the Cotswolds
See how we plan to improve services, protect our environment and support our amazing communities and businesses