Cotswold District Council are urging residents to give their opinions on the council’s spending plans as the cost of living crisis threatens to derail the budget for the next financial year.
With the current cost of living crisis increasing spending pressures on residents and councils alike, the district council are looking for the opinions of residents on how they should spend money. This comes amid threats of cuts to local government funding, with international tension and national economic turmoil increasing running costs for services that are essential for the day to day running of the district.
Deputy Leader of the council, and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Mike Evemy addressed the issues with a statement that outlined the priorities of the council, their desire to ensure that services are still delivered, as well as calling on residents to play their part in the decision making. He said:
“As your local District Council, we are committed to caring for the Cotswolds in all we do. A key part of that is managing our budgets wisely, so we can continue to deliver the services you rely on.
“This year has seen large rises in costs for both residents and businesses as a result of [international events] and the national economic turmoil we are facing. We appreciate the impact this is having [on residents]. It has also had a big impact on the Council’s finances. We have seen large increases in costs for fuel to collect bins, energy to run buildings and other inflation-related pressures.
“The impact of increased costs to the council means we have to work even harder to deliver our services efficiently. We will also ask the government to provide the funding the councils needs to support their local communities – especially important for Cotswold District Council following a decade of cuts in the council’s core government funding.
“We are an ambitious council that wants to invest in our district, but expect that these difficult times will mean we have to slow down the delivery off our ambitions to make sure we manage the council’s finances carefully. This may mean borrowing money wisely to invest in improvements and using some off our limited reserves to help us through the next two years.
“We are confident that if we pull together as a communities, as we did during the pandemic, we will be able to weather this financial storm. We want to make sure we come through the next two years in a strong position so we can continue the work on our priorities of responding to the climate emergency, strengthening our local economy and providing homes for rent that people can afford.
“I would urge everyone to complete our short survey once it is live on 8th November, or join us at one off our forthcoming engagement event to have your say on how we manage your local council.”
Engagement events will be held by the council at supermarkets in the area, as they look to gauge the public feeling on how their money should be spent and how their services are delivered.