Fringe Box



Dragon Interview: GBC Budget Debate

Published on: 21 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 23 Feb, 2021

Looking forward to a visit to the Yvonne Arnaud when the lockdown lifts, or perhaps you want advice from Citizen’s Advice, or you want more council houses built or your council house repaired? Money to fund, or help fund, all these activities comes from Guildford Brough Council so its budget is important.

This year more than ever in its 46-year history the pressure on the budget is immense, caused, of course by the pandemic and the recent disappearance of central government grants.

Martin Giles interviewed lead councillor for resources Tim Anderson and his council officer counterpart Claire Morris, GBC director of resources to help understand the borough council’s budget, the challenges they face and the choices that need to be made. Note: Citizens Advice is referred to in the interview as ‘CAB’. The service officially dropped the word Bureau from its title in 2015.

This graph shows the impact of the pandemic on GBC’s budget with the forecast income, shown in green much lower than the amount previously budgeted.

This graph shows some of the major areas of extra expenditure caused by the pandemic. More money was required to provide accommodation for all the homeless and to fill the monetary gap in the Culture and Leisure sector caused by the lack of normal income from them.

It is hoped to cover the revelation of the payment of £2.3 million of unused “right to buy” receipts in a further interview with council leader Joss Bigmore in the coming week (ending February 27).

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