Friday, 27 February 2009

THANET DISTRICT COUNCIL BUDGET 2009/10

Thanet district Council press release

Thanet District Council’s budget has been set with one of the lowest Council Tax rises in Kent, combined with minimal increases in fees and charges.

At a meeting of Full Council last night (Thursday 26 February), a Council Tax rise of just 3.99% or 15p per week for the average household was agreed. It was also decided that car parking fees would remain the same for this year, following last year’s increase, with the majority of fees and charges only increasing by 2% in line with inflation, to minimise the impact on local people and businesses. Where increases are higher than this, this is generally to bring the council in line with the charges made by other providers.

Despite this, additional money is being put into local people’s priorities, with funding having been allocated to further improve street cleaning standards and to regenerate Margate. Additional cash will also go into extending the CCTV coverage across the area and monitoring this during night-time periods, while the development and improvement of play areas in Margate and Ramsgate will receive £25,000. The same amount of money will also be ploughed into supporting out of school activities for young people during the school holidays.

This has been made possible by a total of £2.3 million of savings, with more than £1 million being made through changes to staffing structures.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, said: “Our priority this year, in view of the tough economic climate that we all find ourselves in, has been to limit the impact on our residents and businesses in Thanet. That’s why we’ve delivered one of the lowest Council Tax rises in Kent and our lowest for five years. We are planning a Council Tax rise of 3.99% next year, and plan only 2.5% Council Tax for the year 2011/12. We’ve also done everything we can to limit the rises in the various fees we charge and have kept our commitment not to raise car parking prices for three years, following last year’s rise.

“We’re doing everything we can to support Thanet’s economy and everyone who lives and works here and I’m delighted that, even in the current conditions we all find ourselves in, we’ve still been able to allocate more money to our residents’ priorities, with additional funding for regeneration work in Margate and improving the cleanliness of our streets. Of course, we will keeping a close eye on the economic situation and will be reacting wherever necessary.”

He added: “This has been the toughest budget that I’ve had to deal with while looking after the council’s finances and it’s not over yet. We’ve already found more than £2 million worth of savings for the coming year, but we still need to find another £2 million for the next two years, so we continue to have major challenges ahead of us. I’d like to thank all of our staff for helping us to meet these difficult challenges and, in particular, the finance team for the sterling work they’ve done over the past few months. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve delivered a balanced budget with minimal impact on our residents and businesses and have still managed to find additional money for what matters to local people.”
Ed last of the Ramsgate scout picts for a bit.

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