12:17PM, Thursday 10 December 2020
The return to a weekly bin day has had a few ‘teething problems’. Ref:104253-5
Weekly black bin collections face being axed and council tax could rise in the Royal Borough in 2021, the draft budget has revealed.
The council's draft for the 2021/22 draft budget, which was published today (Thursday) has set out a number of proposals which aim to deliver nearly £8million in savings over the next financial year.
The paper will be discussed by cabinet on Thursday, December 17. If approved, it will go out for consultation before a final budget is presented to the council in February.
Following past financial mismanagement, and the added financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the council faces a 'significant financial challenge' heading into 2021.
According to the paper, the Royal Borough's position is 'more acute' than other councils due to its low reserves.
In the proposals, weekly general waste bin collections will be axed, switching to fortnightly. The changes are expected to save £175,000. Weekly recycling and food waste bin collections will be retained under the proposals.
A total of £800,000 is expected to be saved in children's services. Some of the savings will include removing all discretionary travel awards and 'simplifying' the council's therapy offer.
More than £2million would be saved in adult social care. These include developing 'alternative options' for supporting residents who are in need of support, and 'maximising' income from resident contributions.
Other proposed savings include reducing library opening hours, making a saving of £118,000 and 'reviewing' the council's rural car parks to save £100,000.
Under the proposals, the council intends to raise council tax by 2 per cent, and raise the adult social care precept by 3 per cent, meaning Band D council tax would rise by £54.32 to £1131.73.
However, Council leader Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams), has previously said he is lobbying the Government to allow the council to raise council tax above the 2 per cent cap. As things stand, the council would need to hold a referendum to raise it any higher.