Cabinet recommends £520m Build Back Better budget to council

Gloucester County Council Press Release – 26 January 2022.

Gloucestershire County Council’s Cabinet have agreed a proposed £520.2 million budget for 2022/23 that promises to Build Back Better in Gloucestershire.

The budget, which will see an increase of more than £37 million from the 2021/22 budget, was recommended to Council following Cabinet’s meeting today (26 January).

Spending plans include an extra £100 million for our roads, a £150 million injection into school buildings, investment in our market towns and high streets and ongoing support and protection of the most vulnerable in our communities. There is also a commitment to continuing investing in Gloucestershire’s fight against COVID-19 and more investment in the county’s fire service.

It will also be an environmentally friendly budget with funding for 26 miles of cycle track from Stroud to Bishop’s Cleeve to encourage greener more active travel, and the creation of a Climate Emergency Fund with £1 million invested each year.

A public consultation was held between December and January to allow residents of the county to have their say on the budget proposals. Cabinet considered these views before proposing the final budget for Council to vote on at its meeting in February.

Responses saw 69% of residents agree or strongly agree with our budget priorities, with 63% of residents agreeing or strongly agreeing with our budget proposals for 2022/23.

The priority areas of Adult Services and Children’s Services will receive an extra £13 million and £14 million respectively.

Public health, climate change, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, digital services, as well as the delivery of jobs, homes and infrastructure are also priority areas within the 2022/23 budget.

The budget includes a council tax increase of 1.99%, which will secure around £10.2 million for services and a 1% adult social care levy, identifying around £3.7 million to help protect vulnerable adults. Based on a band D property, this equates to a monthly increase of about £3.50.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This is a budget that will help Gloucestershire to Build Back Better following the COVID-19 pandemic. It also puts the climate emergency at the heart of our work – ensuring that we can work to create a Greener Gloucestershire.”  

He continued: “We’d like to thank everyone that took the time to give us their views on next year’s budget during the consultation. The views of Gloucestershire residents are crucial to creating a budget that works for the whole county.”