Report on County Council Matters to North Nibley Parish Council
6th January 2020
County Council Cabinet Meeting 20th December
This meeting had a packed agenda and I refer to three of the items below:
Draft Medium Term Financial Strategy, 2020/21 to 2022/23
This includes the draft budget for the coming financial year.
Following this meeting the draft budget was made available for public consultation. This will end on 17th January. Details of the proposals and for making representations can be found at: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/budget2020-21
In brief, the proposed revenue budget totals £468.183 million and is based on a 1.99% Council Tax increase. An increase of 2% or more would have to be supported by a referendum. In addition the Adult Social Care Levy has been extended for a further year by the Government and allows the Council to increase council tax levels by an additional 2% (£6.3M) specifically to fund Adult Social Care services.
This proposed budget will result in a Band D Council Tax of £1,345.32 in 2020/21
compared to £1,293.70 in 2019/20 – an increase of £51.62 per annum.
The budget includes an additional £12.9M towards protecting vulnerable children and the setting up of an initial £1M Action Fund to help tackle climate change.
Highways Local funding or some of it has been moved to capital spending and currently appears to be proposed at a level of £10k per councillor. In the current year my group on the county council successfully raised the proposed amount of £20k to £25k at the budget meeting.
On 29th January the Cabinet will be asked to approve an updated version which will be recommended for approval to the full meeting of the County Council on 12th February.
Draft Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan
The Action Plan preparation was assisted by telephone interviews with Gloucestershire residents and businesses and an online questionnaire led by the county council, which saw 3,293 residents and 200 businesses respond.
It is intended that the council will switch to purchasing all-renewable electricity. This move would see the council cutting its CO2 emissions by 89% since 2007. Other intentions include:
- a £1M action fund to fight the effects of climate change (now in the proposed budget above)
- Million Trees Challenge – working with partners across Gloucestershire, the council commit to planting a million trees by 2030. (This was the Cabinet’s response to a motion to the County Council’s November meeting which was referred to the Cabinet and included a Liberal Democrat amendment for 6 million trees by 2030.)
- Request all contractors to report a “carbon and environmental cost” on competing bids. (This follows a Lib Dem motion on this subject to the September meeting of the County Council.)
- Consult on the revised plan for transport – challenging the way we travel looking at cycling, roads, rail and on foot travel. (Required through the LTP Review consultation as below.)
- Install 200 new electric vehicle charging points by 2023
Gloucestershire Local Transport Plan Review
I reported on the emerging LTP Review at your November meeting. At its meeting the Cabinet gave approval for the plan to go out to public consultation from 16th January to 26th March. Following this the plan will go to a joint scrutiny committee meeting in May, Cabinet in July and adoption by the County Council in September.
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