Woking Borough Council's financial plans for 2019 to 2020 have been approved following a decision by elected members at last week’s Council meeting (Wednesday 13 February).
As part of the balanced budget, the borough’s Council Tax charge will rise by 3% for 2019 to 2020. The increase, equivalent to less than 14 pence per week or two pence per day for a band D property, means that those living in a band D property will pay £240.46 (an increase of £7 per year) for borough council services such as refuse collections, environmental maintenance, planning services and leisure facilities.
The borough’s Council Tax charge will be added to Surrey County Council’s band D charge of £1,453.50 and Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner’s band D charge of £260.57. The total Council Tax charge for a band D property will therefore be £1,954.53 for 2019 to 2020.
Presenting the council’s budget to Council, Cllr David Bittleston, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “Yet again Woking has set a modest budget increase. Because the Government removed the threat of negative Rate Support Grant and because of the actions we have taken, the budget for the coming year means that we can continue to provide all the services we have been providing and still innovate and improve on what we are doing. The future will continue to be challenging and we will need to make more important decisions over the coming 12 months.
“Woking continues to take the lead on social and affordable housing. Our track record over the last few years has been the best in the country. We will use what headroom we currently have on the Housing Revenue Account to build more council houses and Thameswey will continue to develop and secure additional affordable homes for Woking residents.
“Over the last 12 months we have introduced earn your deposit scheme to Thameswey residents and I have been asked to present the scheme at the National Housing Conference next month in London. Additionally on the back of this initiative ,Cllr Azad and I were invited to meet with the Housing Minister to discuss it. He has today written to me asking for more information about the scheme to enable it to be taken up more widely by other local authorities.
"With over 80,000 families in the country living in temporary accommodation I will do everything I can to provide more homes for the most vulnerable in our community.
“Without doubt Woking provides some of the best support for care of the old and frail in our community. Everything from our day centres, to meal on wheels, through to our handyman and Careline services. We are seen as one of the best in Surrey.
“The challenge we face over the next 10 years is that our population of over 65 year olds will increase from 15% of the population to almost 25% of the population. A challenge we will need to address.
“One of the most important pieces of work over the last year has been the Green Belt Review. I would like to thank both officers and the portfolio holder for the amount of work and dedication that they have put into this process. Council has taken a view that it would like to protect as much of the green belt as possible but this means that we will have to build more densely in the urban area. Please remember we need to deliver our housing numbers if we are to protect our green belt in the future.
“Last year I said that my aim was to talk less, listen more and explain better. I have tried to do this through public meetings out in the community. I believe that this has been well received by residents and I will therefore continue to do this is the coming year. Today I received notification that Woking has been awarded a 'best practice' mark of distinction for recognising the importance of choice in how the council communicates with local residents.
“Finally, it’s difficult to lose sight of our major projects as they continue to reshape our town for the future. We will continue our investments in additional sport, leisure and culture facilities for our residents. We will continue to push our green agenda. We will continue to support the less well off in our community.
“Woking Borough Council is all about people working with people to ensure better outcomes for our residents.”
|Valuation band||Surrey County Council basic £||Surrey County Council adult social care £||Surrey County Council total £||Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner £||Woking Borough Council £||Total Council Tax requirements £|
The council will shortly send all households their Council Tax bills for 2019 to 2020.
Anyone experiencing difficulties paying their Council Tax is encouraged to contact Woking Borough Council for advice by calling 01483 755 855 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org