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Council budget for 2014-2015

Introduction by Gordon Lundie, Leader of West Berkshire Council.

In November I explained how the government is having to make savings to deal with the national deficit. This also means savings in the grants it gives to councils. Combined with increasing costs, this means West Berkshire Council has to save £5.6 million on its budget for the coming financial year.

£4.4 million of that we can achieve by continuing to change things behind the scenes you won't necessarily notice. For example, technology means we can sometimes do the same for less money and we're re-negotiating some contracts. That said, with staffing and management already significantly reduced, savings in front-line services can no longer be avoided.

In November I also showed you a list of services where we proposed to make savings. We asked for your feedback on what the impact would be for those who use those services, and for any suggestions on how we could reduce that impact.

Thank you to everyone who responded. In the video presented here, I summarise what you have said, explain how we have listened to your suggestions, and how we have amended our proposed budget to reflect your thoughts.

The good news is that, although our government grant has been reduced as we predicted, the local economy has improved. This is turn means that we are able to pull back on some of the proposed savings without having to look elsewhere to reduce costs.

A summary of the conclusions and recommendations drawn from the feedback you gave, and how it affects our budget, is given pdf icon here. [118kb]. Full details on each of the proposed savings are given in the links below.

We are now in a position to propose a budget for the coming financial year. A report giving all the details will go before a meeting of the council's Executive on 13 February. In the video, I give some of the budget headlines. The full report can be seen here.

I'm pleased to say that what we are proposing is a budget that meets the need to make savings, that adds investment to the district, and that proposes no rise from West Berkshire Council in council tax.

Links to the summaries of feedback received:

pdf icon Charging for Supporting People services [135kb]

pdf icon Integrate of services supporting vulnerable young people and careers information, advice, support and guidance provision [139kb]

pdf icon Community‐based care packages for disabled children [133kb]

pdf icon Children's Centres [140kb]

pdf icon CAMHS [131kb]

pdf icon Therapy services [133kb]

pdf icon PreSchool counselling [133kb]

pdf icon Public transport subsidies [153kb]

pdf icon Libraries [166kb]

pdf icon Road safety [139kb]

pdf icon Planning enforcement [127kb]

pdf icon Theatres [190kb]

pdf icon Road and verge maintenance [132kb]

pdf icon Sunday car parking charges [145kb]

pdf icon Public toilets [134kb]

pdf icon School crossing patrols [137kb]

pdf icon Parenting support [125kb]

pdf icon Duke of Edinburgh award [188kb]

pdf icon Tourism [143kb]

For full details, including verbatim responses received, please visit  Consultation Finder

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