Council budget to support climate change, economic recovery, and health and wellbeing
Rugby Borough Council approved its budget for the financial year 2022-23 at a meeting of the council last night (Tuesday 22 February).
The budget maintains all council services and supports the council’s Corporate Strategy, which prioritises addressing climate change, supporting economic recovery, and improving the health and wellbeing of residents.
Once again, the council will receive no core grant funding from central government in 2022-23 following the removal of the revenue support grant, leaving the council reliant on council tax revenue, other income streams, fees and charges, business rates and other central government grants.
This year, the council’s budget has allocated an additional £500,000 to fund projects which support the council’s work to combat climate change. Other priorities include the redevelopment of Rugby town centre, with a masterplan for the ‘once in a generation’ project set to be in place in the summer, and further support for the council’s transformation programme – a programme which has identified £293,000 of savings for the forthcoming financial year, together with a number of income generation opportunities.
The budget also allows the council to build on the success of its digitalisation programme, with its commitment to providing digital services to residents recently recognised by a £350,000 grant from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Local Digital fund, which has allowed the council to spearhead a project to develop a new, flexible digital waste service – set to be shared with local authorities across the country.
The council has also confirmed plans to conduct a complete review of its parking strategy and associated fees and charges, with the removal of the £150,000 subsidy to provide free parking in the evenings and at weekends allowing the council to invest the money in other projects to support the town centre.
Councillors agreed at last night’s meeting to a £5 per year increase to the basic average band D council tax bill.
Rugby Borough Council keeps just 8p from every pound of council tax collected to deliver core services (up to 12p for taxpayers subject to Rugby town area special expenses).
Around 76p goes to Warwickshire County Council for services such as highways, schools and social care, and around 12p goes to Warwickshire Police. The remainder goes to parish councils which charge a precept.
Cllr Seb Lowe, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “This budget will enable us to build on the work we have been doing to transform the council and the borough of Rugby.
"Now that we are emerging from the pandemic, we can focus on driving the transformation within the council, delivering on our climate change commitments and bringing our town centre masterplan to fruition this summer.
The people of Rugby have big expectations for this council and for the borough. This budget establishes the funding to enable us to live up to those expectations."
The actual council tax rates to be paid by a band D property in 2022-23 will be:
Warwickshire County Council: £1,590.93
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner: £262.71
Rugby Borough Council: £158.80
Rugby Town Area: £78.02
Parish Area (average): £58.34
For more information on council tax and payments, visit www.rugby.gov.uk/counciltax