Residents, community groups and businesses are reminded that they have until Tuesday 24 January to participate in a consultation on the draft budget proposals for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
The budget consultation is an opportunity for anyone who lives or works in the Royal Borough to share their views on funding and savings.
The six-week consultation, which launched on 13 December, is available online at https://rbwmtogether.rbwm.gov.uk/budget-consultation-2023-24. Supporting documents can be found online at the same address and paper copies of the consultation are also available at all borough libraries upon request.
The proposed 2023/24 budget focuses on setting a balanced budget while continuing to provide essential support to the most vulnerable residents and quality services for the whole community.
To help achieve a balanced budget, the draft budget proposes a 4.99% increase in council tax for 2023/24, which includes an increase of 2% in the adult social care precept.
This follows the additional flexibility around raising council tax, announced in the government’s Autumn Statement, to help councils address rising costs.
In response to increasing demand for some services, especially provisions for the most vulnerable residents such as social care and housing, the council has reviewed all services to ensure they are run as effectively as possible and provide value for money.
The council remains focused on delivering its Corporate Plan priorities and maintaining a sustainable borough of opportunity and innovation. Despite the national change to council tax, the Royal Borough continues to have one of the lowest council tax rates in the country.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, leader of the council, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far in this important consultation. If you haven’t already, there’s still time and I’d encourage you to share your thoughts on how the draft budget might affect you in order to help inform discussions at Cabinet and Full Council. We also welcome your ideas if you think there are other ways we can deliver the services that matter to you, within the financial constraints facing us.
“The last couple of years have been financially tough, and recent circumstances beyond our control have placed additional pressures on everyone, with councils across the country facing sometimes challenging decisions to help stabilise financial positions.
“At the Royal Borough, we continue to transform services to ensure they run effectively and efficiently for our communities and businesses, maximise external funding opportunities, and strengthen our focus with partners around prevention and early intervention to help support our most vulnerable, as well as manage growing demand.
“This year’s proposed budget secures the financial stability of the borough while still maintaining one of the lowest council tax rates in England. Many councils will be increasing council tax by a higher amount this year to maintain important services in the current financial climate. However, council tax relief for the most vulnerable will also be maintained.”
Once the consultation closes, public feedback will used to help inform discussions when the draft budget is debated at Full Council in February 2023.