Money Matters – Have your say on Buckinghamshire Council’s spending priorities for 2023/24
Buckinghamshire Council is working hard on its priorities and spending plans for next year and with a really challenging economic climate, with rising energy costs, interest rates and inflation, it’s more essential than ever that residents tell the council how they want their money to be spent.
Like other councils across the UK, Buckinghamshire is in the process of setting its budget for 2023/24. 82% of the cost of providing all Buckinghamshire Council’s services comes from Council Tax – from paying for care packages for adults who need it, to providing emergency accommodation for homeless people and vulnerable children, as well as the essential services everyone relies on like bin collections, road repairs and keeping streets and open spaces clean and safe.
The costs involved in providing these services have risen sharply due to higher inflation so setting the budget and balancing the books is extremely challenging this year. Residents have an important role to play in the budget setting process as we need to determine how they want their council tax spent.
So, we’re launching “Money Matters” – the way for residents to tell us what matters most to them when we come to divvy up the available funds during next year. The budget will pay for services such as:
• Pothole repairs, road maintenance and improvement
• The Council’s energy costs – from street lighting and operating machinery at household waste depots
• Care for vulnerable children, for example, those who’ve had to come into our care for their own safety and well-being
• Care for adults who need extra help and support
• Running libraries and leisure centres
• Support for residents facing hardship
We want you to tell us which services you think we should be prioritising in our budget for next year, and what you think about our outline plans for how we’re suggesting next year’s budget should be spent.
Our “Money Matters” consultation sets out what proportion of the council’s budget is currently spent on which services and invites you to tell us which services you would prioritise in a short survey, which takes less than ten minutes to complete.
Martin Tett is Leader of Buckinghamshire Council. He said:
“We know many residents across the county are struggling to make ends meet. We owe it to them to make sure their council tax is spent where they want it to be. So, it’s essential you tell us how you’d like us to prioritise spending on local services. With ‘Money Matters’ we’ve made it as quick and easy as possible for you to give us your views – it really will be ten minutes well spent if you can take part. The feedback we get from residents is an important part of our overall decision-making – so please be assured your views are fully taken on board and form an integral part of the overall process.”
When the Money Matters survey closes, the Council will consider all feedback during the following phase of the budget setting process. Then the full budget proposal will be announced early 2023, for further feedback and scrutiny before it’s agreed and finalised in February and implemented from 1 April 2023.