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Council Tax Set To Rise As Borough Announces Raft Of Improvements To Services

Published on: 18 Feb, 2014
Updated on: 18 Feb, 2014

Council tax is set set to rise as Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has agreed to increase its portion by 1.9%, while its new budget will fund a raft of improvements to services.

Guildford Borough Council Offices at Millmead

Guildford Borough Council offices at Millmead.

The announcement follows on from Surrey County Council’s stating last month that it plans a rise in its share of council tax by 1.99%. – just below the 2% threshold for which a public poll must be held.

GBC has just announced the approval of its new budget with councillors also agreeing on housing revenue account plans and expenditure.

The leader of Guildford Borough Council, Stephen Mansbridge

The leader of Guildford Borough Council, Stephen Mansbridge

In a statement issued by the council, leader Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, said: “We have agreed a budget featuring further investment across the borough. We want to encourage growth, create opportunities and provide choice for future generations, despite the challenging economic climate and ongoing financial pressures.

“Through robust financial planning and improving the efficiency of our existing services, we have delivered a total of £8.8 million in savings since 2008-09 and £3.7 million in income. The budget includes further savings of £292,000 for 2014-15 including £243,000 from our recent management restructure.”

GBC says its corporate plan features “bold ambitions for service delivery and increasing income to achieve a sustainable future, and we are working on an extensive programme of service improvements and investments”. Its plans include:

• £7 million worth of improvements and maintenance to existing council homes.

• Investing £30 million in new affordable homes over the next five years.

• £400 million regeneration of North Street area in Guildford town centre.

• A new Waitrose, community centre and town centre residential development.

• Investing in residential development, including affordable homes and a new multi storey car park and infrastructure at Guildford Park car park.

• Improving the crematorium and its parks.

• Income generation through traded services, asset investment and remodelling of its services.

Cllr Mansbridge added: “Changes to the way our government grant is distributed and other funding reductions mean that we must increase our portion of the council tax by 1.9%. This is well below the rate of inflation and equivalent to an additional £2.79 a year, or less than six pence a week, for a band D property. This increase helps us continue to deliver high quality services for residents and reduce the risk of higher rises in the future.

“We want to prepare positively for the future of our community, the local economy, to generate income and help support those in need. By continuing to transform the way we operate and using our assets more effectively means we will meet the financial challenges and give a first class service to our customers.”

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Responses to Council Tax Set To Rise As Borough Announces Raft Of Improvements To Services

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    February 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    A new multi-storey car park in central Guildford together with a major supermarket with its 200 car parking lots?

    Not to mention of the chaos the North Street scheme will cause.

    Surely this will lead to complete grid lock.

    The answer must be to first to take out traffic from central Guildford, starting with through traffic which is currently making life in central Guildford unbearable.

  2. Martin Elliott Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I notice the attempt to minimise the increase by the presentation.
    So what is the total the Council expects to raise from the inflation equaling rise ?
    If they had held the tax as Waverly have done, what would they have received from Central Government?

  3. Martin Elliott Reply

    February 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Oh, and how many of these announced Improvements are actually new?
    How many are actually going ahead rather than being on hold?
    Becomes a much shorter list relevant to 2014/15 revenue then.

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