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Uttlesford budget agreed for 2017/18

Uttlesford District Council's budget for 2017/18 was formally approved at a meeting of Full Council on Thursday (23 February).

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The Council agreed to continue to support residents and communities by putting additional investment in key areas, despite facing reductions of almost £1 million in the funding it receives from central government.

In addition, an increase of just less than 2 per cent in the Uttlesford share of Council Tax was also approved - this is the equivalent of an extra £2.80 a year for a Band D property. Uttlesford's Council Tax rate remains the lowest of any district council in Essex.

Some key features of the 2017/18 budget:

· £6.6m programme of improvements on sheltered accommodation schemes (£45m over the next five years)

· Additional funds for Street Services, grounds maintenance and litter picking

· £1.67m on a vehicle replacement programme (£5.6m over five years)

· £100,000 to support the roll-out of superfast broadband

· £48,000 to fund two Police Community Support Officers for the district, plus funding to support a recruitment drive for more Special Constables

· £290,000 of Disabled Facilities Grants (£1.59m over five years)

· Continued commitment to the voluntary sector, including £110,000 made available in the Community Projects Grants scheme every year for the next five years

Cllr Simon Howell, Cabinet Member for Finance & Administration, said: "This is a balanced budget that recognises the scale of the challenges ahead. It also includes an ambitious programme of capital investment to support our residents over the next few years, and I am proud that we have been able to do this whilst remaining the lowest cost district council in Essex."

As well as setting out how the Council will balance its books over the coming year, the approved budget papers also included the Housing Revenue Account (the budget for council housing) and the Medium Financial Term Strategy, which maps out what the Council's finances will look over the next five years. The Corporate Plan, which is linked to the budget and sets out what the Council wants to achieve, was also approved.

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

28 February 2017