Council sets £609m budget for next year

Gloucestershire Council has asked for the public’s views on its budget for next year.

In the current proposals, spending for 2024/25 will reach £609m, an increase of more than £42m on 2023/24 levels.

In addition to stopping Gloucestershire’s rubbish going to landfill by turning into green energy, the Energy from Waste plant will generate a £15m boost to next year’s budget.

As part of a £100m investment, the council proposes to continue its investment into highways transformation work.

Some £37.4m has been ear-marked in 2024/25, as part of a £171m scheme, to make significant improvements at M5 Junction 10 and completion of the Arle Court Transport Hub

It has been proposed to allocate £19.8m to school improvements, including a new special school in Gloucester and a new primary school at Bishops Cleeve.

As well as this, the budget includes a £8.3m Disabled Facilities Grant to support people with a disability to make adaptations to their homes.

Plans would see £1.3m invested into increasing the frequency and operating hours of 21 of the county’s popular timetabled bus routes, with the bookable bus service, The Robin, also due to be extended from May.

A total of £1.9m is proposed to be invested into tackling key road safety hotspots and providing specialist training to Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

The council also plans to continue the financial support for residents who have welcomed Ukrainian guests into their homes.

The budget proposes raising £14.2m to help fund services through a council tax increase of 2.99 per cent. The proposals would also see £7.8m raised specifically to support work with the most vulnerable adults in the county through a further two per cent increase in the adult social care precept.

Despite this increase the council still expects to have one of the lowest council tax levels of any county council. Based on a band D property, residents would pay an additional £6.34 each month.

The council continues to challenge itself to work more effectively and as a result has identified £23m in savings, additional income and efficiencies for next year.

Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This is a budget that will mean 2024 is yet another year where we will deliver for communities, for businesses and for the future of this great county.

“Unlike many other councils who are struggling to balance the books, we haven’t had to make dramatic cuts to the services you rely on each day – in fact, we’ve increased our investment in them by £42m.

“We want to know what you think about these plans. Please take a few minutes to complete our short survey so that we can listen to your thoughts before finalising the budget.”