The ruling Conservative Group at Brentwood Council has passed the budget for 2018/19, putting forward ambitious plans that will see more investment in the Borough’s vital services.
The budget provides more resources for street cleaning, community safety and play areas. It focuses on helping to grow the local economy, invests in rural broadband and provides support for mental health, whilst also meeting increasing costs of the living wage, business rates and inflation.
Conservatives have approved an increase to the Council Tax base rate by £5 per year, (less than 10p a week) in order to pay for this new investment.
Cllr. Louise McKinlay, Leader of the Council, said: “This is a good budget that builds on our strong record of sound financial management. Despite no longer receiving a grant from Central Government, every single penny that will be raised as a result of increasing the Council Tax this year will be spent directly on the key services that residents have told us are their priorities.”
Other elements to the budget will support the Council’s ambitious plans for Brentwood and include:
1. Funding to help deliver a refreshed town centre, with a greater choice of leisure facilities and retail offer.
2. £100,000 to complete the Borough’s Leisure Strategy, which will decide the facilities and investment plans for the coming decade.
3. Delivery of the Local Development Plan, which will identify land for both residential and commercial development over the coming twenty years.
4. £2million upgrade to the Town's Multi-Storey car park.
5. Retention of weekly black bags collections and additional money for rubbish and fly tipping to ensure our borough remains clean and tidy and a place we can be proud of.
The Leader added, "In these unprecedented times, we continue to rise to the challenge of reduced funding and increased demand. We have managed this well and with minimal impact to the services that people use. I am proud to put my name to this budget, which will ensure Brentwood remains a great place to live, work and play."