Spending plans that protect frontline services and continue to drive forward the district’s regeneration have been formally adopted by Wyre Forest District Council.

Members of full council last night formally approved the budget for 2018-19  which builds on important decisions made last year to make efficiency savings, generate additional income and champion regeneration to create jobs and new homes.

Following a freeze on the district council’s part of bills for the last two years there will be a modest increase of 1.94% for Wyre Forest District Council services in 2018-19.  This means an average Band D property will see an annual increase of £3.98 – or less than 8 pence per week - on the district council part of the Council Tax bill from £205.36 in 2017 to £209.34 in 2018.

Members of the public have already given the new budget their support, with a majority of respondents completing the council’s annual budget consultation supporting all of the spending proposals put forward for the year.

Cabinet Member for Resources Councillor Nathan Desmond said: “We believe this budget represents true value for money. These are still very challenging times, but we believe the budget strikes the right balance between keeping increases in council tax to the minimum, while allowing the great work going on to regenerate our district, attract new jobs, new homes and investment to continue.

“We have frozen Wyre Forest’s share of Council Tax for five years out of the last seven, with the increase in council tax since 2010 remaining well below the rate of inflation across that period. The modest rise of 1.94% this year is well below the 3% rate of inflation as measured by the consumer prices index, and therefore represents a real terms reduction.”

Wyre Forest District Council Leader, Councillor Marcus Hart said: “We will continue to do our very best with the financial envelope that we have and will continue to manage our finances prudently, reducing costs and increasing income wherever possible and give all who live, work and visit Wyre Forest the best services that we possibly can.”

The main elements of this year’s budget  include:

  • Making extra efficiency savings of £50,000 in 2018-19
  • Increasing the income target by an additional £50,000 in 2018-19 together with the creation of a £250k Capital Funding Pot to support a more commercial approach for income generation.
  • Increasing the amount of Council Tax for district council services by a below-inflation 1.94% in 2018-19.
  • A five year ICT capital investment programme with  £776,000 in the Capital Programme  in 2018-19 and further investment over the next 4 years..
  • Funding Wyre Forest’s Community Safety Team at a cost of £30,000 in 2018-19.
  • Investing £50,000 to fund WFDC’s Localism initiative and continue the excellent partnership working with Parish and Town Councils and other local organisations to safeguard local services and facilities.
  • Continuing to provide £33,000 for the Community Leadership Fund which supports local charities and good causes in every ward of the district.
  • Investing £38,000 at Spennells Valley nature reserve.

For full details please see the full council agenda.