Friday, February 23, 2007

The Big Issue

Continued investment in local people’s priority areas – street cleaning, refuse and recycling collection and activities for young people - form the cornerstone of Thanet District Council’s budget for the next year.

The budget was last night (Thursday 22 February) agreed at a meeting of full Council, when an increase in Council Tax bills of 4.44% was agreed, meaning most households will see a weekly increase in Thanet District Council’s share of the bill of less than 14p a week.

Council Leader Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel told Council that this budget built on the work of previous years, which had seen resources switched into those areas that local people had identified as their priorities. “The first and most consistent demand from our residents is to keep the streets and roadways clean, and to provide an effective refuse collection service. This Council took the brave decision to take the service back in-house and invested £1.45 million in 2006/07, with further investment in to come over the next year in refuse vehicles and wheelie bins. The arrangements that we now have in place are fit for purpose and get better each week. They have cost us money, but that has been well spent and will be of long-term benefit to Thanet residents and this investment is already paying dividends in the eyes of our residents. Both street cleansing and refuse collection show an increase in resident satisfaction of 16% and 6% respectively.”

Other priority areas include activities for young people and the £40,000 allocated last year for arts and sports activities for young people remains in this year’s budget.

However, there was also a warning that local councils across the country are likely to face a continuing funding gap over the next three years, with tough grant settlements likely from central government. These will probably not cover projected inflation, so in real terms, councils are likely to see a cut in their funding.

Cllr. Ezekiel told the meeting: “The year-on-year Budget gap that this Council has faced in recent years looks set to continue over the next few years, so we are seeking to put steps in place to close this gap and balance the Budget. This will only be achieved if managers, staff and Members work together. Even with greater efficiency and reducing costs, Members will have to accept that the Council probably won’t be able to do everything that we currently do, so some tough choices will be needed about what we don’t do.”

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm. KCC's gap appears to be caused by a £500,000 plan to launch a TV station, presumably to trumpet about themselves, paid for, no doubt, by a £580,000 cut in library services.

Anonymous said...

Absolutly!it is criminal what they are doing to the library services..how DO they get away with this?..

Anonymous said...

Despite some of the most deprived ward's in the country, central Labour Government continues to allocate more funding to the Scots and northern 'labour' areas than here. Are KCC and TDC Tory run?

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time councils were focused on regeneration, job creation and infrastucture. Waste collecting was just a service like any other which the council performed which required basic management and basic budget controls.
If waste collecting is a major acheivement by TDC after four years in office, what the hell have they been doing the rest of the time.

Anonymous said...

That is a relief at least the unemployed from Thanets tourism and manufacturing industries have clean streets to walk in.

Anonymous said...

Even if KCC and TDC were Labour, they would still be Tory run.