Canterbury City Council delivers a wide range of services including maintaining parks and gardens, operating CCTV cameras, running museums, making sure restaurants are clean, dealing with planning applications, providing leisure centres and swimming pools, emptying your bins, cleaning the streets, providing public toilets, providing social housing, enforcing all sorts of rules around yellow lines and taking action against littering and flytipping.
Managing our budget
The council is facing the biggest financial challenge in its history as it deals with the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on its budget, including the latest lockdown.
The council held an emergency budget in May 2020 to address a £12 million shortfall, by drawing on £7.5 million of its reserves - effectively the savings its puts to one side for a rainy day - delaying big capital and infrastructure projects for at least a year, not filling job vacancies, stopping all non-essential spending and closing some car parks to save money on business rates.
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to continue to find savings on top of those already achieved without affecting service levels.
As a result, we face some very difficult decisions in the years ahead so we can balance the books.
The 2021/22 draft budget
As a result of falling income and increasing demands on our services, in 2021/22 it is estimated there will be a budget gap of £9m.
Set against this extremely difficult financial backdrop, the council is putting forward a number of proposals to either increase income or find savings, including:
A recommendation to opt for Euro 6 diesel rather than electric buses for the next Park and Ride contract which starts in April 2021, which would save around £445,000 a year
£1.4 million in operational and efficiency savings across the council
Reducing the councillor Opportunities Fund for a second year
Reducing repairs and maintenance work at nature reserves and amenity areas
Closing three sets of public toilets - the location to be decided and a consultation held when that decision is made
Allowing the council as a whole to access the surpluses generated by the Whitstable Harbour Board as it is likely these will not be needed to pay for quay replacement projects in the next five years
An additional street market in Canterbury next summer
Introducing a new fee for developers for the monitoring of s106 planning agreements
Fees and charges
We are proposing a 3% increase in fees and charges across the board, except where they are set by the government, are restricted to income recovery only or have fallen behind what other providers are charging. This would generate additional income of around £20,000.
Some of the main changes are 3% increases in:
Charges for pre-planning advice
Buying household waste bins
Bulky waste collections
Boot fair pitches
Scrap metal dealer licences
Street trading licences
Taxi and private hire licences
Houses in Multiple Occupation licences
Hire charges at the King’s Hall, Guildhall and Tower House
Local land searches
You can view full details of the proposed fees and charges here.
Proposed council tax level
The council is proposing a council tax increase of 2.29% to our share of the council tax. This would
add 9.5p a week (£4.95 a year) to a band D property, meaning households in a band D property
would pay 61p a day for Canterbury City Council services.