The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s budget for 2023/24 has been approved at Full Council, setting council tax and the council’s investment priorities for the next financial year.
All local authorities are legally obliged to produce a balanced budget, and the approved budget delivers financial stability for the Royal Borough, provides support for its most vulnerable residents, and maintains high quality council services for all.
Councillors used public feedback from the budget consultation, conversations with businesses, and comments from the Overview and Scrutiny committees to help inform the discussion at Full Council yesterday evening.
The Royal Borough’s key investments include:
• £41.3 million in Adults and Housing Services
• £27.8 million in Children’s Services
• Four additional police officers to support neighbourhood policing across the borough
• Four environmental enforcement officers
• Improvements to town centres
• Extending the Resident Parking Discount Scheme
In 2023/24, the portion of Council Tax that supports the Royal Borough’s services will increase by 4.99%. This comprises a 2.99% increase in the general charge and 2% increase in the social care precept. For a Band D charge, this equates to a rise of £58.12 across the year, or £1.11 a week.
Council Tax is a crucial source of funding for the Royal Borough, comprising 83% of the council’s funding for services and this vital financial support will help enable continued investment in essential services across the Royal Borough.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “Thank you to everyone who participated in the public consultation and shared their views as part of the important budget-setting process. I am delighted that we have approved a budget that maintains the borough’s financial stability whilst also ensuring that all local people continue to have access to effective and efficient council services that reflect our Corporate Plan priorities.
“Despite increased costs, demand, and rising inflation, which have made the past year challenging for everyone, the Royal Borough has been able to provide ongoing support to our most vulnerable residents and deliver important investments in the local community, while retaining one of the lowest council tax rates in the country. I am pleased that the 2023/24 budget will continue this good work and will enable the council to respond to the community’s needs whilst meeting our financial responsibilities.
“I would like to reaffirm my thanks to all those who took part in shaping this year’s budget and now that it has been approved, we can look forward to delivering the community’s priorities over the coming year.”
The council also collects precepts on behalf of parishes, Thames Valley Police and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.