Epsom and Ewell Council Tax Portion to rise by 2.7%
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Cuts to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Funding I have previously written
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council set its budget for 2017/18 on 14 February at a Full Council meeting. Councillors have agreed a 2.7% (Band D – 10p per week ) increase for Epsom and Ewell Council Tax. Consequently council tax for this Borough will remain below the average for Surrey.
Reduction in Government Funding
The Council’s core funding from the Government has reduced from £2.3million in 2015/16 to £1.4 million in 2017/18. Reductions in the Government’s New Homes Bonus sees a further loss in this Council’s income of £700,000 in 2017/18. The impact of these reductions has been mitigated in part by the increase in income generated from the Council’s commercial activities. Furthermore, investment in preventing homelessness in the borough has significantly reducing our costs.
Councillor Eber Kington, Chair of the Strategy & Resources Committee, in presenting the budget said:
The Budget you have before you makes some very important service enhancements and very clear policy commitments, including
- The introduction of a ‘simply weekly’ recycling service, at a time when other Councils are moving to three weekly
- The roll out of a new transport vehicle and Routecall Flexi Route scheduling system
- Working with private sector landlords to increase the supply of affordable housing
- A £70K refurbishment of Longmead Social Centre
- £174k improvement works at Depot Road car park, and replacing the pay and display machines at Depot Road and Upper High Street
- £110k refurbishment of the pond in Roseberry Park
- £46k refurbishment of tennis and basketball courts in Alexandra Recreation Ground.
In addition, our commitment to support the most vulnerable members of our community continues:
- Providing Disabled Facility Grants, using £535k to help people live independently in their own homes
- Provide £25k to the East Surrey Outreach Service to assist with rough sleepers
Our commercialism agenda will continue:
- An additional £60m of borrowing to fund ambitious commercial acquisitions to help generate income to fund services important to residents
- £172k of the net income from two recently purchased commercial properties will be used to balance the budget and support services
- Looking to buy three residential properties to be used as temporary emergency accommodation
- Generating new income from a pest control referral service.
I recommend this budget to the Council; efficiency savings of £381K, no cuts in services; and an increase in the council tax of £4.95 at Band D.
The full Budget Report is on the Epsom and Ewell website.