Have your say on coun­cil spend­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Housing Report - By Tim Collins

tcollins@thek­m­group.co.uk Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil is call­ing on peo­ple to com­ment on its bud­get­ing plans for the com­ing fi­nan­cial year.

The coun­cil has re­leased a sum­mary of its draft bud­get, which will be fi­nalised in Fe­bru­ary.

A sum­mary doc­u­ment has been pro­duced so res­i­dents, busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions with an in­ter­est in the pro­pos­als can make in­formed com­ments.

Re­source man­age­ment chief Cllr Neil Shorter said: “Set­ting ev­ery bud­get is a dif­fi­cult task, but more so when the out­look for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties is as chal­leng­ing as the sit­u­a­tion we cur­rently face.

“The bud­get that we are seek- ing com­ments on makes it clear that we are fac­ing con­sid­er­able fi­nan­cial pres­sures in the long term, most no­tably in­fla­tion­ary pres­sures and the scale of the re­duc­tion in fund­ing from cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

“By plan­ning ahead we have an­tic­i­pated th­ese re­duc­tions, and with in­no­va­tion at the core of this or­gan­i­sa­tion we are al­ready proac­tively look­ing at ways to se­cure rev­enue streams that work for us and, more im­por­tantly, for the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“We now ask for stake­hold­ers to com­ment on the draft bud­get.”

The coun­cil’s scru­tiny com­mit­tee will also look at the draft bud­get in de­tail and on Fe­bru­ary 13, cab­i­net mem­bers will make rec­om­men­da­tions for coun­cil to con­sider a week later.

The fi­nal bud­get will only be for­mally set on Fe­bru­ary 20, when the full coun­cil meets to agree the bud­get and the level at which coun­cil tax will be set.

To have your say, visit www. ash­ford.gov.uk/bud­get­ing-ac­counts

Neil Shorter

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