Cllr Clive Smitheram – Epsom and Ewell Council Budget
Councillors have overwhelmingly backed plans to strengthen Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s
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Cuts to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Funding
I have previously written about how the Borough Council is just one of fifteen local authorities across the country which will lose all its Revenue Support Grant (RSG) in 2017/2018. That has now happened. Last year the Borough Council received £403K in RSG and this year nothing. The Government also changed the rules on the New Homes Bonus grant resulting in a cut of £700K. That is a loss of funding of over £1 million in one year. It seems that the Government has decided that the residents of Epsom and Ewell should shoulder an unfair and disproportionate burden of cuts to local authority funding. Bearing in mind that a 1% rise in the Borough portion of the council tax brings in just £59K, this is a huge loss of funds.
2017/2018 Council Budget
That said, your Residents’ Association led Council has a good track record of managing the Borough’s finances, planning ahead and looking at new ways to fund and deliver services. We have to live within our means, and we are determined to protect the services valued by our residents. In February, Borough councillors agreed the Budget for 2017/2018 some key points of which are:
• An increase in the council tax of £4.95, which equates to 10p a week.
• Efficiency savings of £642K.
• No cuts in services.
• A new weekly recycling collection service to be introduced during the spring.
• New vehicles for our Routecall Service.
• A £70K refurbishment of the Longmead Social Centre.
The Borough Council’s independent external auditors Grant Thornton gave an “unqualified” verdict on the 2015/16 accounts. This means the accounts are to a high standard with no significant issues or concerns. EEBC has now had un-qualified accounts for over 15 years, which is a real credit to the Finance Team and other Officers who manage the Borough’s finances.
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council collects the council tax on behalf of EEBC, SCC and Surrey Police. Only 11% of your council tax goes to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, 76% of your council tax goes to SCC, and 13% to Surrey Police.
Your EEBC council tax enables EEBC to provide many services including: Recycling, Street Cleansing, Parks and Open Spaces, Longmead Social Centre, Meals on Wheels, Action on Homelessness, Leisure Activities, The Rainbow Centre, The Playhouse, Environmental Health, Planning and Licensing.