Welcome to our budget survey

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During the summer more than 1,700 people took part in our priorities survey and the majority of people said they wanted us to focus more on housing, the environment and local economy.  These have now become our priorities in a new Corporate Plan which runs from 2019 until 2023.

Every year we have to set a budget saying what services we will provide based on the money we have available.  Usually we ask you to comment on specific budget proposals. This year we are doing things a little differently and would like to give you the chance to comment on ideas before we make firm proposals for the budget.

We are in a difficult situation. Government funding has fallen from £8.4m to £4.3m in Wyre Forest since 2009-10 and many other councils have seen similar reductions. We are restricted by the Government in how much we can raise locally through council tax. 

Wyre Forest District Council collects Council Tax but most of the money we receive goes to other organisations. We get 12%. For example if you live in a Band D property in Kidderminster at the moment the Council Tax is £1,812.09 and the district council receives £214.34.  Council Tax receipts make up 66% of our annual budget.

To carry on doing all the things we currently do we would need a budget of £12.3m in 2020. We only have £10.5m. This is your opportunity to help decide how we can close that funding gap. The choices we would like you to help us make include - do we reduce services? Do we stop doing some of the things we have done in the past?

There are some services that by law we have to provide. These include setting planning policy, deciding planning applications, running elections, clearing away domestic waste, administering benefits,  tackling homelessness and collecting business rates and council tax for all public services including Worcestershire County Council, police and fire.

We have been providing other services (known as discretionary services), such as offering support to businesses, building control and leisure events. Some of these discretionary services, like our garden and trade waste services, create income which helps support our frontline services. Others play a major part in delivering our priorities.

It’s a really difficult balancing act – giving you services you value with the reduced budget we have. By law we have to balance our books.  Put simply, we will be unable to continue doing everything we do, the way we currently do it. This is your chance to tell us how you would like us to approach our budget dilemma.
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