Budget Consultation 2023-2024
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s constitution requires the organisation to consult on its draft budget proposals.
You said, we did
The majority of budget proposals received a positive response from at least 60% of respondents. However, there were areas where responses were predominantly opposed to the proposed approach.
- the proposal to increase Council Tax was supported by a majority of respondents, receiving 59% of responses in agreement, with 36% opposed and 5% other
- the majority of Fees and Charges proposals were supported but increases to garden waste and allotment fees were opposed, and responses were mixed on increases to community centre room hire charges
- for Service Budget proposals, the reduction in grant funding for some voluntary sector partners was opposed by a substantial majority of respondents (69% disagreement). Views on IT costs around software licensing were also mixed, but other proposals were generally supported
- for changes to Staffing Costs, all proposals were supported by a majority of respondents
- many of the comments received reported on challenges around the cost of living, both on the respondent’s own behalf and for others. There was also recognition of the impact of inflation upon costs for the Council and support for adequate funding of key services. A number of comments were concerned with the Council operating efficiently
- many comments expressed a desire to see community services and facilities supported, particularly those relating to sports and physical activity, and noted the associated wellbeing benefits
- protecting vulnerable persons and those in need was a common sentiment, often accompanied by observations that these should be prioritised, and that costs should be borne by less ‘essential areas’ or by those most able to pay
The views expressed in the consultation were incorporated into the wider discussions on our 2023 – 2024 budget.
- some respondents expressed concerns for proposals to increase Council Tax rates. These concerns were reported and factored into our decision to create a new Economic Pressures reserve of £0.15 million to provide additional discretionary support
- a proportion of respondents raised concerns relating the funding available for the voluntary and charitable sector. It was identified that the new Economic Pressures reserve will be used to support funding requests for those in particular need
- the concerns relating to the increased fees and charges were also discussed. However, it was decided that the benefit of increased funding for services outweighed the additional costs to service users
- all comments received were also used to inform the final equality impact assessments for the proposed changes, which help to ensure that proposals take account of their impacts on all residents and community members
The consultation closed on 16 January 2023.