A Budget to take us forward from the pandemic
Our Budget for 2022-23 includes new spending on schools, transport and other infrastructure to promote post-pandemic recovery and renewal
West Berkshire Council's Budget for 2022-23, which will see significant investment in local services and infrastructure, was approved last night.
The plans, which were presented at the Council's annual Budget meeting, contain a range of commitments to enhance and maintain the services on which residents rely, including new spending on schools, transport and other infrastructure to promote post-pandemic recovery and renewal.
This includes £52 million of investment in new and improved educational facilities across the district, £12 million on leisure facilities and more than £80 million to improve local infrastructure. This includes a range of new schemes, for example, enabling longer opening times at Newbury Lido, investment in play and recreational facilities and the upgrade of Theale railway station.
This investment will be paid for in part by an increase in Council Tax of 4%, which is almost 2% less than the maximum rise available and includes a 3% precept for Adult Social Care, the council's greatest area of expenditure. This equates to an additional £1.22 per week for a Band D property.
"We are proud to have delivered such a positive budget in difficult circumstances, which will maintain good local services while investing further in the areas we know our residents want us to focus on."
"This includes an extra £5.2 million to help people who need the support of our social care staff and services, a new solar farm in Grazeley as part of our plans to make West Berkshire net carbon zero by 2030 and £2.6m on the North Thatcham flood alleviation scheme.
"We will also continue to support businesses with grants and rate relief schemes, including the new Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund which will make £4.8 million available to businesses which don't currently benefit from existing rate relief schemes.
"We are confident that this value for money budget will deliver what the district needs to recover from the pandemic and build back better."