The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s budget for 2021/22 has been approved which will ensure the council can continue supporting our most vulnerable residents and invest in the borough to support the local recovery.
The budget aims to provide a stable footing for future years following additional financial pressures on this year’s budget as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
A consultation was carried out on the budget proposals where 850 residents, community groups and businesses responded.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, leader of the council, says: “There have been some difficult decisions that we have had to make but by taking and delivering difficult decisions this year, we will have successfully put the council’s finances back on a more sustainable footing and delivered much-needed and long-overdue transformation of key frontline services.
“We are continuing to invest in supporting our most vulnerable residents and this year due to the coronavirus pandemic we will invest in the borough to support the local recovery.
“We want to continue to create a borough of opportunity and innovation by delivering some key projects including the ongoing work of transformation across the council. We had approved a robust budget in February 2020 which began to stabilise the council’s financial position and started to address the issues for longer term financial sustainability. However, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has led to increased costs and large reductions in income.”
Residents will see an increase of 4.99% in Council Tax which includes 3% for the adult social care precept, which is an overall increase of £1.03 per week for a band D property. Council Tax bills will be delivered during March to homes in the borough.
Councillor Johnson, adds: “It is also the first time the council has carried out a consultation of this kind for the budget proposals and I was pleased with the number of responses. The feedback received signalled clear priority areas for residents and this will help inform the budget proposals for 2022/23.
“We were also able to have a good debate at scrutiny and cabinet about the proposals and now the budget is approved, we want to get on with its delivery.”
Band D council tax will now be £1,131.17 which sees an increase of 1.99% in base Council Tax taking the charge to £1,003.39 and an additional 3% to reflect an increase in the Adult Social Care Precept - £127.78. Some properties will also have a special expenses precept for unparished areas of £33.90.
The Royal Borough remains as having one of the lowest Council Tax Band D charges in England and is the lowest in Berkshire.
Over 70% of funding for the council is from Council Tax paid by residents. The council also collects precepts on behalf of parishes, Thames Valley Police and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
This year’s budget sets out investment of £16m into Maidenhead regeneration, £1.6m into maintaining our roads, £2.4m into the Castle Hill project in Windsor as well as £1m for hostile vehicle mitigations to keep our residents and visitors safe.
The budget also continues to support our most vulnerable residents with £50m committed to adults, health and commissioning, up by £2m, and £24m in support of our children’s services, up by £1.2m.
The budget was voted through on a majority named vote at Full Council on Tuesday 23 February 2021.