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Bucks' new council's budget enters final day of scrutiny

Bucks' new council's budget enters final day of scrutiny

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:49am 17th January 2020.

The draft budget for Buckinghamshire's new council has been under the microscope all week.

Scrutiny started on Tuesday, with each section being looked into. 

Today marks the closing session with the Leader of the Shadow Executive Martin Tett.

The draft budget includes a planned raise of 3.99% in council tax, including 2% for social care. 

This has frustrated local people as the new council was proposed with the benefit of savings for them. 

Martin Tett has explained why people are seeing this rise:

"Council tax doesn't go up automatically. If we are going to maintain services in line with inflation we are always going to have to increase council tax by roughly the amount of inflation. In previous years its been 3% this year it is 1.99%

"Government have proposed that councils with social care responsibilities levy a 2% so-called social care precept.

"That money is ring fenced, in other words it can only be spent providing social care to the most vulnerable. So whether its children of adults we are making sure we look after them."

The proposed budget for Buckinghamshire Council could see over £1bn spent on the county in 2020/2021.

Anyone can put in questions quickly and easily ahead of the scrutiny meetings either by email to demservices-shadow@buckscc.gov.uk or on social media (Twitter and Facebook) @deliveringbucks using the hashtag #BucksBudget2020.

Mr Tett says the budget covers more than day to day spending:

"Capital expenditure is big projects like new roads, town centre new development and so on. It is a big and ambitious programme for a council that is determined to make a difference. 

"In the capital section of the programme you'll find we're proposing to invest in a new road for Princes Risborough. Princes Risborough is seeing a lot of expansion over the next 10/20 years and its important we provide new transport facilities around that town.

"There's also quite ambitious plans when it comes to town centre redevelopment for both High Wycombe and Aylesbury. We are anticipating both those towns will need a significant investment to cope with the decline of retail and we are drawing up those plans at the moment."

This draft budget will be reviewed before being presented to the Shadow Executive on February 18th 2020, and then the Shadow Authority February 27th.

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