A series of amendments to Wiltshire Council’s proposed budget were announced by Wiltshire Council leader Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, at today’s (7 February) cabinet meeting, which if agreed, will see £375,000 invested to improve the following services.
• That Visit Wiltshire will see its proposed grant reduction of £100,000 reduced by half to £50,000, in recognition of its role in attracting visitors to the county and the positive impact on the local economy
• £50,000 to support the work of the Wiltshire Parent Carers Council
• £175,000 to extend opening hours by one day a week at Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge household recycling centres
• £100,000 to support the development of Wiltshire Council staff
To deliver the proposed investments, further savings totalling £375,000 will be found from the communications and marketing budget and the way the council spends money on its property maintenance.
Baroness Scott said: “In putting forward this year’s budget proposals we faced a number of challenges in how we balance the need to protect vital services and provide the support that’s needed for those who are most vulnerable, while having to find savings as a result of increased demand and continuing reduction in government grant funding.
“We are confident that the right balance has been struck and that the amendments outlined today reflect our commitment to invest where investment is most needed and to deliver savings.”
Wiltshire Council currently spends almost £1bn each year on more than 350 services. Spending plans meet the council’s key priorities of protecting those who are most vulnerable, boosting the local economy and empowering communities to do more for themselves to help them to become even stronger and more resilient. This year the Government Settlement Funding Allocation has been reduced by 17.6% from £86.71m to £72.31m.
The budget will be decided at full council on 21 February.