Torbay Council’s Cabinet has published its responses to the 2024/25 budget consultation after considering feedback on the proposals.
The proposals were initially published for consultation on 10 January 2024, with Cabinet considering the reviewed proposals this evening (Tuesday 13 February). The proposals can be viewed on the Council’s website at: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/DemocraticServices/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=741&MId=24413(agenda item 7).
Cabinet is proposing a balanced net Revenue Budget of £139.2million for 2024/25 and a 2024/25 Capital Investment Plan of £19million for the Council’s consideration on 22 February 2024.
As part of the 2024/25 budget consultation process, a range of feedback was received on the draft proposals through an online questionnaire, a face-to-face resident engagement event and by responses and comments made on social media posts. The Overview and Scrutiny Board also reviewed the proposals and made recommendations.
Torbay residents supported most of the proposals put forward. In response to feedback and additional Government funding recently announced for social care some changes have been made to the initial proposals. These include the following:
· To ensure good quality bus services are retained throughout Torbay, some community-based bus contracts will be increased by £70,000 and funding for Concessionary Bus Fares will be increased by £200,000.
· Ensuring children and young people receive the support they need to succeed in the future, an additional £230,000 will be available for Children’s Services.
· Proposing a further £100,000 for the events team to ensure valued events across the Bay can be delivered.
· To support sport in Torbay, £75,000 will be available to help sport organisations access external funding and become financially sustainable in the future.
· Having available £200,000 of funding to support households if further support from the Government is not forthcoming. It will be used to support foodbanks, care leavers, and Family Hub issued food vouchers and debt advice.
· Allocating £25,000 to support road safety initiatives.
· Additional Government funding for social care will be split equally between adult social care and children’s social care.
The feedback also showed overwhelming support was given for two new planned investment projects – Operation Brighter Bay and Operation Town Centres.
Operation Brighter Bay is about making Torbay more attractive and safer, giving green areas more attention with additional cuts to grass, not only in high-profile areas, but also town centre and residential areas. The investment will also allow for the repainting of more white lines and yellow box markings right across Torbay.
Operation Town Centres will see collaboration between the Police and additional Council staff in Town Centres, with the objective of providing more enforcement against those who engage in anti-social behaviour.
Cllr David Thomas, Leader of Torbay Council, said; “Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the 2024/25 budget proposals, whether that was through our online questionnaire or by taking the time to come and speak to us face-to-face.
“When we launched the consultation in January, the approach we set out was one of strong financial management and creating a sustainable financial future for our residents and visitors.
“We want all our residents to be at the heart of everything we do. We know there are ongoing financial pressures for us all, which is why we are proposing to allocate more funding to support the most vulnerable in our community. We also want to ensure our town centres and green spaces are inviting and welcoming places and that they support our multi-million-pound Capital Investment projects.
“We are confident that the proposals enable us to take a longer-term strategic approach over the next three to four years, which a number of Council’s locally and across the country are unable to do.
“Remember you can watch both Cabinet and Council discuss the proposals live via YouTube.”
The Cabinet’s final budget proposals will be considered at the Meeting of the Council being held on 22 February when the budget will be decided, and the Council Tax levels will be set. This will include the precepts from the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner and for Brixham Town Council, with an overall Council Tax for Torbay being set.
Details of the meetings when the budget proposals will be discussed are available on the Council’s website via: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/meetings-and-decisions
Cabinet and Council meetings are live streamed on the Council’s YouTube channel in addition to recording the meetings and publishing on the website. To watch meetings live visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/torbaycouncil
Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Get in touch via email email@example.com