Overview of budget proposals from Preston City Council for 2019/20

Preston City Council
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Overview of 2019/20 budget proposals from Preston City Council

The Cabinet has put forward a budget strategy in working towards setting the 2019/20 Budget and Council Tax.

The proposals are due to come before members of Preston City Council at a Cabinet meeting tonight at Town Hall.

Here is a brief overview:

• This next financial year is the final year of the Four Year Efficiency Plan 2016/17 to 2019/20.

Council documents state: “The council’s efficiency plan was formulated in response to the further round of austerity driven contraction in Local Government funding and the Government’s offer of a four year funding settlement deal.”

Work on the Efficiency Plan will continue in 2019/20 to implement the Investment Property action plan and the management cost savings target.

• There will be further work on:

The Digital First Strategy - to deliver further service improvements for customer service and transactional access

The Refinancing Capital Programme - this includes an annual contribution of £50k each year from the asbestos reserve and capital receipts to reduce the level of prudential borrowing in the Capital Programme.

Council Tax Increase - it is proposed to increase Council Tax in 2019/20 by 2.99 per cent

Release of Reserves - planned use of reserves to fund the shortfall in financing during the period of the Efficiency Plan.

Contingency Plans - reviews of the current contingency list of services and statutory services to be carried out during 2019 to enable plans to be in place in the event that the significant risks materialise.

• Growth Proposal:

Community Bank - Given the reduction in branch numbers and in bank lending to local businesses, the Council has been exploring with other councils and anchor institutions what interest there might be in exploring the establishment of one or more locally resourced and focused regional banks.

Preston Model - one-off contribution of £100k in 2019/20 towards projects such as Connected Communities and working with Co-operatives.