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Unanimous support for SDC budget

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SDC Councillors have unanimously approved a below inflation Council Tax rise for key Stroud District Council services, while investing in the district and our environment.

SDC’s services make up approximately 11% of the Council Tax bill, and the cost of these services to residents will rise by 13p per week per which means an increase of 2.99% for Band D households.

All elected members had the chance to scrutinise the 2023/24 budget last night (Thursday) and Council Leader Catherine Braun said she and colleagues are mindful of the impact of increases in the cost of living on households across the district.

“We’re keeping council tax increases to a minimum and despite inflationary pressures, we’ll be maintaining all our key services, as well as our new council homes programme and big capital projects like the Brimscombe Port redevelopment,” she said after the Full Council meeting where the budget was unanimously approved.

Included in the budget is extra funding for projects benefitting the environment including £764,000 towards renewable energy projects at The Pulse and Stratford Park leisure centres and the Museum in the Park; an additional half a million pounds for walking and cycling schemes, including accessibility for public spaces; and £150,000 on top of £300,000 already committed to play areas, for Stratford Park. The council will continue with 100% Council Tax support for people in need.

Part-funding for 15 homes for people fleeing conflict, and support for voluntary sector organisations who work with refugees and asylum seekers was also approved at the budget meeting. 

Deputy Council Leader Natalie Bennett added: “Despite the tight financial position this year, we have tried to make sure that our budget considers the needs of all residents, from the youngest to the oldest, that it reflects our values as an inclusive and welcoming district, and our commitment to action on the climate and nature emergency.”

The council’s services include waste and recycling, planning, environmental health, parking, parks and recreation, leisure centres, The Museum in the Park, canal restoration, animal welfare, benefits administration and advice, elections, youth work, upkeep of open spaces including Selsley Common and Cam Peak and Long Down upkeep, plus licensing and flood management.

Stroud District Council and the district as a whole were rated well above the national average in the most recent independently conducted residents and businesses satisfaction survey.

A recording of the meeting can be viewed online and the agenda papers are also on the council’s website.

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