Wiltshire's Conservative councillors have prepared a long list of cuts to services in an attempt to balance the budget. Council Tax will go up by £60 to £100 for most households. Here are some examples of what you'll get for your money:
Funding for older peoples' Lunch Clubs will be cut.
Grants will be offered in response to the omicron variant, which has had a detrimental effect on many businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
Businesses can expect further news on the grants next week (17 January), with applications due to open on the council's website soon. As this is a fast-moving situation, potential applicants should check the council's website and sign up for the council's business newsletter for up-to-date information.
A 3% rise in Band D Council Tax, increases in fees and charges, and cuts to staff are on the menu for the WC budget. Here's the WC announcement:
Wiltshire Council's proposed budget for 2022/23 has been published, outlining how the council is planning to bridge a deficit of £27m.
The impact of the pandemic is still being felt, but despite this the council is forecasting an underspend at the conclusion of the 2021/22 financial year. This will put the council in a strong position as it heads into the 2022/23 year, but amid the ongoing uncertainties of the pandemic, this continues to be a very challenging time financially for the public sector.
There's a consultation on the £10 increase in the Wiltshire Police precept which will be included in our council tax bills next year. Even with the 4.3% hike, expenditure on policing will need to be reduced.
The consultation won't make any difference as the decision has already been made.
The increase, when added to hefty rises in the WC and Fire Authority precepts, will mean an extra £100 to be paid by many households this year.
The WC administration is trying to save money by cutting staff numbers. The council is already significantly under-performing in areas such as planning due to staff shortages.
Now more officers are being threatened with the chop, as WC says it needs to "Deliver staff savings of £10m over the next two years with approx. 70% being delivered next year."
Vacant budgeted posts which are described as "not business critical" will be deleted, recruitment to some vacancies will be delayed, and organisational structures will yet again be reviewed to find more posts to axe.
Discussions are to take place with trade unions about the Tory proposals.
The Conservative government's tax increase will cost the average family in England and Wales £430 a year by 2026, research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
The figures reveal the scale of the cost to families of the government's decision to freeze the personal tax allowance and higher rate tax threshold until 2025/26, compounding the growing cost of living crisis.
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