Budget Consultation - Have Your Say

Budget consultation and planning

It is that time of year where we need to start thinking about the budget for next year and asking you for your views.

You have told us that you value the services we provide and have asked us to focus on some key areas: improvements to the landscaping and environment (estate improvements) and support to local people through our advice, youth and other services.

This year we have:

-        Opened the Community Fridge, sharing almost a ton of food each month and reducing use of landfill, with plans to develop this further

-        Invested in more staff and equipment for the landscape and environment team, taking on a new apprentice and buying new equipment, to focus more on improving the estates

-        Developed our Play Ranger sessions, offering family play sessions in our parks and open spaces after school and during the holidays

-        Refurbished two of our community centres, with two more that will be looked at over the coming months

-        Opened our Wellbeing Room, providing a safe, welcoming space for people to access support and activities to promote positive mental health

-        Provided financial support, training and building space to Resident Associations to enable them to support our really local communities

And alongside all this, continued to deliver the services that are unique to Woughton – the Advice Service, youth provision, landscaping service and more.

With Milton Keynes Council continuing to face funding cuts, it is down to Woughton Community Council to fill some of the gaps Last year, we increased our small part of the council tax by just over 6%, and following discussions within Full Council in November, the council is suggesting a 10% increase for the coming year. This increase sounds high, but is just over £1 a month for most in the parish (£14.34 per year for Band A, £16.73 for Band B) and means that we can keep pace with rising costs and continue to deliver the things you have told us are important.

We could increase by slightly more and do slightly more, if this is wanted by the residents. For example, by providing more CCTV coverage to reduce fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour, dog fouling and littering or looking at further expansion of currently services (more youth provision, more estate clean up staff, more landscaping).

We also need to be aware that we are likely to lose more money from MK Council next year, due to further cuts to their budgets. Whilst we have been prudent over the last few years to make sure we have a bit of a buffer, these cuts will mean either increases in our precept or cuts to our services in coming years. We will continue to campaign for fairer funding for Woughton.

Your views are important as part of this decision. How much should we increase our precept by? Do you want to see our services continue? Do you want to see more done within the parish? Is CCTV important to you? Are there other things that you would like to see us doing, or things that you feel we can stop? Whilst we can’t keep everyone happy, we do value your thought and ideas and they help the elected councillors in deciding the budget for next year.

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* 1. Do you wish to see Woughton Community Council continue to deliver the services it currently provides (youth, advice, mental health, landscaping, etc.)?

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* 2. Do you support the continuing focus on estate improvements, with additional landscaping, estate clear ups, reduction of fly-tipping and additional work to reduce litter, etc.?

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* 3. Would you support an additional rise to fund CCTV provision, focusing on anti social behaviour, fly-tipping, littering, etc.?

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* 4. This proposal would increase council tax for the majority of residents by about 30 pence per week, with less in many cases). Do you think that this increase is:

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* 5. Of the three options suggested in the Gazette article, which would be your preferred option?

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* 6. Are there any other comments you would like to make with regard to the proposed budget, priorities for the coming year or other aspects of the councils work?

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