Following the Ashford Borough Council’s (ABC) December cabinet meeting the Council has formally proposed a draft budget.
The budget will be considered by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee as part of the democratic process and, ultimately, will be considered by full council in February 2016. However, there is now an opportunity for residents to express their views.
ABC say that the draft budget has been put together at a time of continued uncertainty for local government. The comprehensive spending review took place in late December and the details are still being analysed. It is clear however, that the traditional way that central government has funded local authorities is being phased out.
This emphasises why the Council has stated its ambition to seek to be independent of government grant by the 2018-19 financial year, or as soon after as is possible. Initiatives such as the council’s property acquisition strategy, securing additional revenue streams, and innovations such as the creation of two companies wholly owned by the council, are helping to bridge what would otherwise have been gaps in budget. (more…)