Trafford Council has published details of its budget proposals for 2018/19 and set out plans to ensure households will continue to have the best value for money Council Tax, with residents paying less in Trafford than anywhere else in the North West.
Over many years, the Council has invested in our town centres and major regeneration schemes, like those at Lancashire County Cricket Club, alongside establishing a £300m investment fund last year to generate further revenue to support services that matter to our residents and businesses.
This investment, together with policies to attract new businesses, plus increased support for existing employers to expand, means that for the first time since 2010 the Council is proposing no cuts or job losses. In addition, there will be record investment of at least £30m in leisure and a further £5.9m allocated to looking after elderly residents, those with learning disabilities, and vulnerable children and young people.
As part of wider proposals to mend our roads and highways, an initial £14.4m is proposed to be allocated over the next three years.
Over the last seven years, the Council has been required to make savings in the order of £161.47m, and has done so whilst continuing to provide crucial services as well as many of the everyday services our residents tell us they want to see.
This year, the Council has responded to its ongoing financial challenge by pursuing policies that promote economic growth and new housing, as well as prudently investing our own funds, and as a result has brought in nearly £17m of additional income. Growing our business base, by supporting and encouraging inward investment, has brought in £5.4m alone through the 100 per cent business rates retention pilot introduced by the Government.
Details of the budget, due to be considered at the Council’s Executive Committee and by full Council on Wednesday 21 February, include:
- £4.9m for adult social care, £1m for children’s services.
- £14.4m for highways and road improvements over the next three years, in addition to the £2m being spent between now and end of March 2018.
- £350k reinvestment into the revenue budget to fund schools crossing patrols to help ensure our pupils arrive at school safely.
- Abolishing all library fines. From April 2018, the borough will boast a completely free to use loan service, reinforcing the Council’s commitment to all of its existing libraries alongside new libraries, in Old Trafford, Hale, Altrincham and Timperley.
- A minimum of £30m public sector investment into leisure across Trafford, including two new Leisure Centres in Stretford and Altrincham and the refurbishment of Sale and Urmston Leisure Centres alongside plans for Partington as new housing development progress.
- Up to £40m in private sector partnership investment, which will mean a bright future for the George H Carnall leisure centre site as the new home of the Manchester Giants alongside a health care and wellbeing hub, green gym and key worker accommodation.
- Extra support for our town and village centres with cheaper car parking charges, with the return of 20p for half an hour, the introduction of 1 hour and 1.5 hour price points and reduction of the all-day charge from £7 to £5.
- £5.3m of further investment in public realm to support the regeneration in Altrincham and Stretford and further plans to be brought forward for Sale.
- An end to child burial charges with the removal of fees for children under 18.
- Roll out of 400 new trio recycling bins in town centres and parks through the One Trafford Partnership.
Leader of the Council, Sean Anstee, said:
“Over many years, my administration has chosen to take pro-growth, commercial and investment decisions, sometimes opposed, but are now proving their worth by putting the Council in a financial position to invest in the priorities residents and businesses have shared with us. We have chosen to invest carefully and our meticulous planning in recent years is now starting to pay off.
In dealing with the very challenging financial pressures facing Trafford, our focused economic growth and income generation policies has resulted in more people than ever wanting to live and do business in our borough.
The financial impact of developing these policies means that we are able to retain the high-quality services that we are renowned for in Trafford.
The Council continues to strive to find the right balance between keeping Council Tax low and raising the money we need to fund our essential services.
We’re proud that our plans to ensure households will continue to have the most value for money Council Tax with residents paying less in Trafford than anywhere else in the North West.
As we look to our future, we have set out exciting plans to further invest in our communities making sure we remain the best place to grow up and live in the country.”
The full budget report will be available in the ‘About Your Council’ section of www.trafford.gov.uk under Council Budget Reports following the Executive meeting.
Posted on Wednesday 14th February 2018