'Fiercely ambitious' budget to deliver priorities at council

Wednesday, 16 February, 2022

Councillors have approved a “fiercely ambitious” budget to deliver key projects at Tendring District Council (TDC) – while keeping a council tax rise to less than inflation.

Last night (Tuesday, 15 February) full council approved the authority’s budget for the coming financial year, including a £5 rise in its share of council tax bills – meaning the average (Band D) home will pay £182.64 a year to TDC, though many will receive a rebate due to national government’s announcement of support to tackle the rising cost of energy bills.

In setting out the budget TDC Leader Neil Stock OBE said it would deliver important projects already underway , including the workspace and covered market development in Jaywick Sands, redevelopment of the Starlings site in Harwich, and replacement of the cremators at Weeley Crematorium.

To help manage projects going forward and retain a flexible approach to spending, a Corporate Investment Plan would be set-up to oversee new schemes put forward. Proposed to be included within that was an extension of the Members’ Small Grants scheme with each councillor given funding to spend in their local areas with an additional £1,000 per councillor to fund Platinum Jubilee events and activities.

Councillor Stock also set out that the New Homes Bonus given to TDC from government had been confirmed, meaning that demolition of the Milton Road car park in Dovercourt and the building of houses upon it – a project supplementing the Starlings work – could be considered for funding.

During his budget speech Councillor Stock said: “In delivering services and responding to our priorities we also have to remain fiercely ambitious; but I think it is fair to say that with great ambition comes great financial responsibility.

“We have continued to respond to Covid-19 issues but also seamlessly continued with the provision of our day-to-day services. Through our approach to financial management and planning, priority setting, sound stewardship and ambition we can continue to make a difference for our residents and businesses as well as looking after the district and its natural environment.

“The necessary £5 increase to council tax built into the long-term forecast is lower than the rate of inflation, and in real terms the lowest increase for many, many years.

“What we do need to do is see where the investment gives the biggest ‘bang for our buck’ in terms of delivering high quality services and delivering against our priorities.”

Councillor Stock added that some money from the Corporate Investment Plan may be used to lever additional funding from government.

Also included within the general fund budget were continued grants to town and parish councils; £352,000 to continue temporary posts for a further year in the Community Ambassadors, Street Ranger and waste and recycling teams;

The Housing Revenue Account budget was also passed at last night’s meeting to secure the future of tenants’ homes and enable the council to deliver on its commitments to provide new homes for local people.

Last updated on: 16/02/2022 - 09:13