Council leadership set to prioritise road repairs, play facilities, housing, energy efficiency and Social Care.
The new Council leadership has announced changes to the budget that it inherited. As expected, extra investment in improvements to street level public services are planned.
There will be extra investment in
- Removing graffiti
- Additional Litter bins
- Tree management
- Crime reduction
- Waste collection
- Street environment (cleaning and community projects)
- Electric vehicle charging point maintenance.
The biggest investment will be £1 million spent on road repairs and a further £1 million on cycling/walking improvements
There will be a £250,000 boost for children’s play facilities.
The Council will invest £1 million in speeding up housing modernisation and a further £1 million on energy efficiency improvements
£22,000 is being taken for the reserves to improve children’s and adult social care standards.
Several of the proposals are less than transparent. We are told, for example, that the Council will “Re-purpose funding from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pilot to strengthen our approach to inclusive growth, including child poverty, greening the high street and promote lifelong learning”
Also, the Council will fund “connections with communities most impacted by EU exit to better understand their needs, and to take forward the community hubs work initiated”
Four schemes are intended to be self-funding. They relate to foster care, Special Education Needs and Disability pupils, Public Health and mental health.
The proposals will be welcomed by many in the City. It will, however, take more than £1 million to get the City’s roads back into good order.
£4.25 million of the plan is capital investment, meaning higher debt charges in the future (and less to spend in the revenue budget).
The plans are likely to be criticised for failing to clearly identify the objectives of some of the changes with no detail given of how the success of the projects will be measured.
No KPIs are listed and there is no clear vision of how the City will look in 4 years’ time.
Residents may feel that prompt attention to reducing the costs of some inherited major projects is necessary, especially if demands on taxpayers in future years are to remain under control.
It really shouldn’t cost £35,000 to “ launch a public Citizen’s Assembly on how the Council can best work in an open way”
The Council must become a “can do” rather than a “can talk” organisation.
Still it’s a start, and a better one than was managed by the last two Council administrations.
The proposal will be discussed at a meeting taking place on 17th July
A full list of budget proposals can be read by clicking here