Help Set West Berkshire Council Budget!

As of April 2010, West Berkshire Council’s budget stood at just under £119.3 million a year. (Although in addition, we received £127.7 million from the government which we gave direct to the district’s 80 schools, over which we have no say.)

Some of that £119.3 million we have no choice but to spend in specific areas. This is because there are a number of services we have to provide by law – such as refuse collection – so the opportunity to make savings or investment there is restricted. But there are a number of other services where we do have the scope to reduce or increase spending.

Over recent years, before the announcements from the new coalition government, it had already become clear that the Council was going to have to make savings, largely because of the increasing demand on our social care services. As a result, we have been changing the way adult social care is provided. For example, instead of the council providing care services direct, a number of users are being given personal budgets so they can choose where to buy the services they need. This is a preference of many, and it could also provide savings.  Already this year, the Council has identified savings in administration or ‘support services’ of £2.8 million. This is on top of savings made in this area in previous years. Additionally, approximately £5.3 million is needed for repayments on borrowing for example, to fund capital projects such as the new Winchcombe School and the Dolphin Centre at Pangbourne. These amounts have been deducted which reduces the budget to £111.2 million.

We now need your help in reducing the budget by a further £10.2 million.

This will provide us with a guide or steer as to what your spending priorities are for the next few years. Beyond that, it is highly likely that even more savings will need to be made, but how much will not become clear for many months. However, the preferences you give us now will help that process in the future.

Click here to take the chance to make your own budget recommendations!

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