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Council on course to set a balanced budget

The council plans to deliver the services residents and businesses depend and rely on, despite losing almost £11m in core Government grant in ten years

Date issued: 22 November 2018

Colchester Borough Council is on course to set a balanced budget for the next financial year.

The council plans to deliver the services residents and businesses depend and rely on, despite losing almost £11 million in core Government grant in ten years.

A meeting of Cabinet last night (Wednesday) considered the council’s potential budget for 2019/2020. Under the plans, the council’s share of the council tax would increase by three per cent, only the third increase by the borough since 2010.

The report set out the steps being taken to reduce the budget gap the council is facing next year, to deliver a balanced budget. The authority has been working hard to continually reduce the budget gap for 2019/2020 – which in September was around £330,000 but now stands at £214,000.

Steps being taken to address the gap while still being able to invest in services include:

  • A review of the Environment and Communities services, making efficiencies and additional income opportunities
  • restructuring the business and general management structure of the council’s sport and leisure services to reduce cost whilst maintaining services

In 2009/2010 the council received £10.7 million in core Government grant to support the running of its services, but this has fallen to £275,000 for 2018/2019 and nothing for the next financial year.

Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “Less money from central Government makes life much harder for everyone. We have had to take difficult and sometimes unpalatable decisions, to ensure we balance the books and maintain essential services.

“We have worked to help reduce the budget gap we are facing next year, whilst investing where we can across the borough.

“We are committed to listening to the views of businesses and residents and delivering the essential services they need.

“Through our ‘Better Colchester’ campaign we will ensure a cleaner, greener and safer Town Centre that continues to attract residents, visitors and business into Colchester while also still balancing the books.”

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