Cannock Chase Council’s Cabinet has today (28 January) put forward its recommendations for the Council’s general fund budget covering the next three financial years to 2023-24.
In today’s Cabinet report the focus was on the impact of the pandemic on the Council and its residents and the need to maintain services for residents.
The impact of Covid-19 on the Council during the next financial year, for 2021-22, is estimated to be £1.4million.
To maintain services, the report states it will be necessary to draw on Council reserves and increase Cannock Chase Council’s share of the council tax by 1.95%.
The nature of the pandemic and the need to dedicate resources to the Council’s recovery strategy and its ongoing response to the pandemic makes it difficult to introduce new initiatives, however the report is recommending that £346,000 be re-allocated to its building and structure maintenance programme.
Leader of the Council, Councillor George Adamson said: “The Council, like all other councils, faces uncertain times with the proposed changes to this Council’s funding providing an unnecessary distraction to our response to the current pandemic.
“It is clear that Covid-19 is continuing to have a disastrous impact on our District and it is vital that as we plan to recover that we maintain all our services, but importantly provide the framework for investment to secure the long term financial sustainability of the Council at a price our residents can afford.
“The Council is committed to maximising the benefit from the opening of the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet and the regeneration of Cannock town centre, and although both are temporarily on hold, they remain at the forefront of the budget.
“Community wellbeing and the need to have our leisure and cultural services open again as soon as practically possible is essential. The budget provides resources to offset the impact on our leisure provider Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and to ensure all our open spaces are available to enjoy.
“My Cabinet has been aware of the deterioration of boardwalks and bridges in the District and has commissioned a piece of work for Officers to undertake an assessment of all footbridges by the end of March. This budget provides the resources to put in place a programme of work to tackle the worst of this deterioration and Cabinet will consider a detailed report on this by the summer.
“We believe the budget is prudent. It recognises that to maintain services we need to redirect resources from other priorities. However, a balanced budget could only be achieved with a modest increase in our council tax share, which we are recommending is kept to the bare minimum as we know these are challenging times for our residents.”
A 1.95% council tax increase averages out at 7p per week per council tax payer.
Councillor George Adamson, Leader of Cannock Chase Council