Trafford's budget for the future will see millions of pounds invested as part of Covid recovery plans

A budget that ‘looks to Trafford’s future’ will see schools, roads, towns, businesses, social care and leisure centres all benefit as the borough looks to recover from the pandemic.

Increased spending on local parks and improvements in cycling and walking routes were also given the green light as part of the budget agreed by councillors for the next financial year.

The investments are part of an overall revenue budget spend of £192.57m in Trafford and an £80m capital investment programme.

Schools will gain an additional £19.77m for improved infrastructure. There will also be an extra £5.56m in targeted support to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

An extra £10m will be in children and adults social care services to help those people in most need of support.

Cllr Tom Ross, Executive Member for Finance and Governance, said:

“This is a budget that looks to Trafford's future as we recover from the Covid pandemic and aim to make sure the borough is an even better place to live and work."

Councillors backed the budget at special meetings of the Executive and full Council on Wednesday 16 February.
It will mean a rise in council tax of 2.99%, which is a smaller increase than other councils in Greater Manchester. The increase is made up of a 1.99% increase in the basic rate and an additional 1% in the Adult Social Care Precept.

Cllr Ross said:

“We are still facing massive pressures due to millions of pounds worth of budget cuts but I am delighted we can still offer a big increase to support the most vulnerable people in our borough.

“We know residents are facing a massive increase in the cost of living so we want to keep our council tax increase as low as we possibly can.

“This is a budget that fulfils our vision for Trafford, where all our residents, businesses and communities will prosper.”

There is an extra £8.62m in the budget for leisure and sports facilities as the Council looks to reduce health inequalities across the borough.

Planned town centre investments include an extra £13.38m through the Future High Street Funds, and an additional £550k in loans for town centres and businesses. There is also an extra £1.54m to improve public areas in town centres. Meanwhile, an extra £12.6m is being proposed in highways and other key infrastructure improvements.

Cllr Ross said:

“Vibrant town centres create jobs, bring in visitors and improve the living standards of our communities. The money we invest today will lead to continued investment and improvement in the future.”

The budget also addresses the climate crisis with a proposed extra £3.61m for improving and installing cycling and walking routes, as well as an additional £840k to improve green spaces and biodiversity in the borough.

The Council had a budget gap this year of £20.14m, which has been met by the council tax increase, the use of £11.43m of reserve funds, and £5.32m from savings and extra income generation.

The budget supports the key aims of the Council’s revised corporate plan Our Trafford Our Future which sets out how it will create better health, better jobs and a greener future for everyone in Trafford.

Cllr Ross added:

“We will continue to have budget pressures in the coming years but we are determined that the most vulnerable residents in our borough should be protected.

“We will continue to invest in the people of our borough in order to reduce health inequalities, lift people out of poverty and tackle our climate crisis.”

Posted on Thursday 17th February 2022