Consultation item

Budget Consultation 2021/22

Introduction

Canterbury City Council will set its budget for 2021/22 on 18 February 2021. We want to hear your views on our proposals and our suggested council tax level for 2021/22.

The following documents outline the proposals in full:

 

About the council

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

  • A number of changes to parking charges across the district

  • 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

  • Allotments

  • Market pitches

  • Boot fair pitches

  • Event fees

  • Boat licences 

  • 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.

 

Have your say

Give us your views by completing our questionnaire by 5pm on Monday 4 January 2021.

Once the consultation closes, all the feedback we receive will be reported to councillors in February 2021.