Herefordshire Council has today (Friday 7 February) agreed its budget for the next three years.
The budget, which was developed following several cross party working sessions, a comprehensive priority setting process and a public consultation, was agreed through a named vote with two slight amendments.
It was agreed to provide £112,000 for a school transport transition fund which will allow for the integrated commissioning of public transport and for schools to develop responses to the changes. It was also agreed to provide £58,000 for the Arts Commission Grants in 2014/15, which will allow organisations time to plan for adjustments to their funding.
The amendments will be funded by diverting financial resources from other areas of the budget.
The council’s capital programme was also agreed as part of the budget, which will provide funding for the new energy from waste facility in Hartlebury along with improved road infrastructure and leisure centres.
The council tax increase will be 1.9% as indicated in the recent budget consultation.
The budget has been set in the context of the latest monitoring report, which shows that the council is on target to deliver its 2013/14 budget.
Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “I am pleased that the budget has been agreed, as it will allow the council to deliver its priorities across the county of keeping children and young people safe and giving them the best start in life, enabling residents to live safe, healthy and independent lives and investing in projects to improve roads, create jobs and build more homes.
“We are also on course to deliver our 2013/14 budget as expected, which is the result of a focused financial plan and prudent management, ensuring the best use of taxpayers’ money.
“I stressed at today’s council meeting that there will be no delay on the work to deliver the western relief road in Hereford. The link road and western relief road are essential if we are to deliver much needed new homes to support jobs and ensure a five year land supply for building. These elements are essential for a sustainable and thriving Herefordshire now and in the future and as such must not be delayed.”
To find out more about the items considered by council, please visit the council's meeting section.