Wiltshire Council held a live webinar last night (25 January) to provide more information about its budget proposals.
The council recently published its budget proposals for 2023/24 and the next two financial years. The papers detail how the council will continue to provide quality services and make savings, while navigating through a difficult period that includes a cost-of-living crisis, huge inflation rates and high energy prices.
The council’s last reported budget gap for 2023/24 to 2025/26 in November stood at around £45m but following confirmation of the Government’s financial settlement this was brought down to around £33m. However, through careful planning the cabinet is proposing a balanced budget for this three-year period, which critically does not require the council to use reserves to fund ongoing service delivery. The council is also in a position to release £13 million of reserves to spend on business priorities, particularly in supporting housing provision during the cost of living crisis.
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, and Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Finance, talked through the proposals and took questions from residents. The webinar was recorded and the replay can be found at https://youtu.be/WrOneLJxl24
Cllr Richard Clewer, said: “Although very important, the budget can be quite a dry, complicated topic so it was useful to talk through our proposals and break down some of the key issues we know people will be interested in.
“We thank people for their varied questions and it was good to cover a number of topics.”
No final decisions on the proposals have been made, and prior to being discussed and debated at Full Council on 21 February, they will be scrutinised by various groups including members, group leaders and trade union representatives. Earlier in the week the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee had an opportunity to go through the plans in detail and ask questions of Cllr Clewer and Cllr Botterill.
More information about the budget proposals can be found at https://www.witlshire.gov.uk/news/budget-proposals-2023-24.
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