Council efficiency balances the books

March 5, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

Sound financial management and efficiency savings have meant West Oxfordshire District Council is able to produce a “truly balanced budget” for the year ahead.

Councillors have approved the budget for 2018-19, promising to protect services and maintain grants to the voluntary sector as well as meeting future challenges, despite reductions in central Government funding.

Council tax will rise by just £2.75 a year to £94.38 for the average Band D property, the second lowest charge for district councils in England and reserves will actually be replenished by almost £200,000 as part of an improved medium term financial position.

The council’s revenue has been boosted by the new 10-year leisure contract with GLL Better while sharing services with Cotswold and Forest of Dean District Councils has saved £1m a year with a further £1.5m worth of efficiencies predicted following the establishment of the local authority owned company Publica in 2017.

Presenting the budget at a full council meeting, Cllr James Mills, Leader of the Council, said:
“We will be setting a truly balanced budget in so far as we will not need to draw on our revenue balances to balance our budget over the next year.

“Not only are we meeting the budgetary challenges but we also continue to provide first class services to our residents which help to ensure our district continues to be recognised as one of the best places to live, work and visit with local decisions being taken by local people.”

Cllr Mills added that the Council was “proud” to maintain its policy of free parking throughout the District with tourism income continuing to rise and more people using improved leisure facilities.