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Uttlesford puts forward budget and council tax proposals for 2017/18

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Uttlesford District Council will continue to protect frontline services and invest in key areas as part of its budget proposals for 2017/18, despite facing reductions in the funding it receives from central government.

The budget papers, which will be considered by the Scrutiny Committee this evening (7 February), include detail of how capital expenditure will be prioritised over the next year.

Investment is planned in a number of areas, including a rolling programme to replace the Council's fleet of refuse and recycling vehicles and extra money for Street Services. Funding will also be made available to support the roll-out of superfast broadband, and the Council's commitment to the voluntary sector will be maintained with significant grants to a range of organisations and charities that do crucial work in our community.

As part of its medium term financial strategy, the Council continues to look for solutions to the challenges ahead. This includes using its assets and reserves to drive income generation, the sale of surplus assets and finding new ways to be more cost efficient.

To part fund this, the Council is proposing an increase of 2 per cent in its share of the Council Tax bill for 2017-18 - or an extra £2.80 a year for a Band D property. This will help to maintain the Council's ability to deliver services at their current level.

Cllr Simon Howell, Cabinet Member for Finance & Administration, said: "Government funding for the council is being reduced by almost £1million this year, and is forecast to reduce further next year - there are financial challenges ahead. However, careful financial management over recent years has given the Council a solid basis from which to navigate the next few years.

"This budget continues to safeguard the services that matter to residents and includes some significant items of expenditure and investment which will be of longer-term benefit to our communities."

The proposals fit broadly with the feedback received in the budget and priority consultation held last summer.

The budget papers will be considered by the Scrutiny Committee tonight before going to Cabinet on 16 February and Full Council for approval on 23 February.

Full details are available at www.uttlesford.gov.uk/budget2017-18.