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Council Taxpayers in Bromsgrove are set to see an average £5 increase in their bills as members produce an aspirational budget which protects frontline service and invests in others.

Residents in band D properties will see their bills for District services go up by 2% from £223.00 to £228.00 rather than the anticipated 2.99% predicted in last year’s medium term financial plan.

As well as avoiding cuts to frontline services, like emptying your bin and providing parks and open spaces, the Council has been able to add to their savings as well as investing in other creative much needed areas.

These include £15,000 in traffic enforcements around schools at peak times, a pop-up ‘Birdbox’ space which will attract and host events, and there’s a focus on reducing fly-tipping too.

To improve provision to our communities officers have put forward funding bids including; including £28k of financial support allocated to the Bromsgrove Partnership Sunrise Project, £50k to help develop community hubs in libraries and £54k to refurbish bus shelters.

Although the Council’s budget has seen additional costs like funding the evidence base needed for the Local Plan Review, together with independent Highways advice, it has made significant savings of more than £170k to increase the availability of future funds.

A reduction in insurance budgets of £130k due to a new contract being tendered, £54k of savings from the proposed management review and over £400k from reviewing our borrowing requirements are just some of the financial gains made by the Council.

Bromsgrove District Councillor Geoff Denaro, whose portfolio covers Finance, said: “Not only have we not cut services, we have actually added to them – and quite creatively too.

“But rather than being frivolous, we are maintaining a financial stability and our aspirations include looking at how we can get income from the housing market, including building homes in Burcot Lane.

“With these figures our residents can be confident we can continue to provide, and build on, our services, and look at investing in new projects including the District Heating Network project.”

Council Leader Karen May added: “While this budget is a positive one, we will not become complacent as we are aware that future Government funding cannot be assumed nor relied upon.

“The services which are important to our residents are important to us and feature in this report. They told us, we listened, and now we’re doing!”

The Council’s Cabinet will consider the recommendations on Wednesday February 26 and are set to be approved by a meeting of the full Council, which follows at 6pm.