Council Tax Set to Rise as CBC Looks to Balance Books

Council tax looks set to rise by 2.8% in Colchester for 2018/19. The CBC Cabinet report for 22 November references the possible increase with the Revenue Budget for the next financial year up for discussion.

Firstsite, the Arts Centre and the Mercury will all receive a reduced grant. Charter Hall meanwhile looks set to be tarted up in an attempt to attract bigger acts.

The Cabinet agenda [pdf] includes the rather dull sounding:

2018/19 Revenue Budget, Fees and Charges and Financial Reserves

It’s actually rather SEXY – and most definitely relevant to residents. The report attempts to predict how much money CBC will have next year, and then sets out how it will spend it.

The Council admits that there is a budget gap of £178,000. A net overspend of £490,000 is the figure for the current financial year. CBC claims that this is down to shortfalls in income.

No shit.

With residents squeezed with the Council tax increase – around £5 per month on a Band D property – there will be relief in some political circles that money isn’t being spunked on the arts.

Firstsite will receive £112,450 from CBC in 2018/19, then a reduction further in 2019/20 with £97,000.

The Arts Centre also sees a fall with with £55,950 next year, falling to £48,250 the following year.

The Mercury has been budgeted to receive £192,025 in 2018/19., dropping to £168,175 in 2019/20.

All three arts organisations also receive funding from the Arts Council and Essex County Council. CBC attempts to keep them in check. A Cabinet member sits on the Board for all three.

Which is nice.

The Cabinet Report explains why the Charter Hall needs £115,000 investment, despite the current budget gap:

“An improvement in back stage facilities which would provide the opportunity to bring more prominent names, larger shows and longer running shows for multiple night events.”

Further down the political pecking order and the Parish, Town and Community Councils will be hit. An 11% across the board in the CBC grant is being handed down.

There is no mention in the Cabinet report if the Cllr Locality budgets will continue.

CBC claims that it has made savings over the past financial year.

The Senior Management Restructuring & Commercial Company assumptions has seen the original budget of £419,000 fall to £283,000.

The CBC’s Digital Challenge budget has dropped from £110,000 to £70,000.

We can’t but help think that this is #localgov talk for some poor buggers losing their jobs.

There is some fascinating detail in the lengthy report about the price increases for every service that CBC offers residents.

We can’t be arsed to list them all in detail.

Some highlights though:

Who knew that CBC will give you a Brazilian, if you fork out the dosh?

The Cabinet report concludes:

“In summary, there remains a budget gap. SMT and Leadership Team are continuing to work through the outstanding areas of work and consideration of options to deliver a balanced budget.”

Time for the Town Hall belts to be tightened.


One thought on “Council Tax Set to Rise as CBC Looks to Balance Books

  • 13th November 2017 at 11:08 am

    typical our belts to be tightened but they still spend spend spend like the pools winner decades ago .

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