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Conservative Wiltshire Council’s budget for 2013/14 was agreed today (26 February 2013) at full council.
Wiltshire Council became a unitary authority almost four years ago and in that time it has done a great deal. Lots of changes have been implemented and tough decisions made but the focus continues to be to do what is best for the people of Wiltshire.
Conservative Council leader, Jane Scott, said: “At a time when other local authorities are making cuts, we plan to invest and improve our services and increase our support for local communities, despite a continued decrease in public sector funding.
“It is vital that we continue to protect our frontline services and those who are most vulnerable in our communities and that we support economic growth to create and protect jobs through investment in infrastructure, and support for local businesses and inward investment.”
The council has adopted new and innovative ways of working to manage the funding cuts from central government and the increase in demand for services, so that its frontline services can be protected.
Three years ago, the council published a four year business plan that set out to:
In the past three years £85 million has been invested in frontline services, there has been no increase in council tax, and the 22 percent decrease in central government funding has been managed by delivering £100 million of savings.
Next year the council plans to continue with a programme of investment – investing more than £17 million from the revenue budget to support key frontline services and £143.6 million into capital schemes.
An extra £362,000 was secured in government grant funding following the publication of the draft plan. Council leaders agreed an extra £162,000 will be distributed between the area boards to focus on children and young people’s initiatives and projects, and £200,000 will go to the school improvement service to help raise standards of education.
The Council’s Conservative Leader’s Budget Speech can be found at
The financial plan can be found on the council's website at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/wiltshire-council-2012-2013-financial-plan-draft.pdf