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‘Difficult decisions in next few years’ – have say on council spend

Tamworth Borough Council is inviting people to have their say on council spending and where – and how they feel money should be spent.

The budget consultation asks Tamworth’s residents, businesses and voluntary groups to share their views on how council budgets are allocated and which areas should be prioritised, amid continuing pressure on local authority finances.

The online survey sets out how much spending is planned in the General Fund across borough council-run services and asks people to indicate whether the council should spend more, less, or the same, in each area during the next financial year.

READ MORE: Shock as ‘group of five arsonists’ set fire to Tamworth beauty spot

The council has predicted a five-year budget deficit of £7m due to anticipated Government funding reforms and the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, Cllr Jeremy Oates, said: “Even before the pandemic, councils were facing major budgetary pressures due to continued reductions in Government grants, and there is the increasing expectation that we will need to generate more income ourselves.

“Add to that the massive impact of the pandemic and it’s clear that difficult decisions will need to be made about spending in the next few years. Budgets are balanced for the next three years, but we need to take action now to mitigate predicted shortfalls beyond that.

“It’s important to us that we are constantly engaging with and listening to residents so they can let us know what their priorities are and what services matter to them most as these decisions are made on their behalf.

Cllr Jeremy Oates, leader of Tamworth Borough Council.

“I would urge everyone to take part in the survey. All the responses will go before the Council’s Cabinet to be considered as part of the budget setting process for the 2022/23 financial year.”

Tamworth is a two-tier area with the majority of services provided by Staffordshire County Council, which receives the majority of the Council Tax paid (73 per cent).

Currently, Tamworth Borough Council receives 10p in every £1 of your Council Tax to provide the services it is responsible for, including waste collection and recycling, street cleaning, parks and open spaces, planning and building control, promoting economic growth and regeneration, leisure services, election administration and support for the homeless.

'Difficult decisions in next few years' - have say on council spend
Cllr Jeremy Oates.

The majority share of 73p in every £1 goes to Staffordshire County Council for services including highways, transport, education services, care for the elderly, adults and children with disabilities and vulnerable children, museums and libraries, waste management and trading standards.

The remainder goes to the police (13p) and fire service (4p). Council Tax generates just over £4m for Tamworth Borough Council towards gross spending of almost £47m (based on the current financial year). Income is also generated though government grants, rents, fees and charges and Business Rates.

The Budget Consultation is now live and will be available on the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk/consultation until Sunday, October 10.

Hard copies of the survey can be requested by emailing [email protected] or calling 01827 709709.

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