Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council

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Have your say on council budget setting

Residents and businesses are being urged to have their say as Somerset Council launches a public consultation on budget setting.

Somerset Council is launching a public consultation on its budget, offering residents and businesses the chance to have their say as the authority faces a financial emergency.

The consultation is open to everyone and the results will help influence Councillors as they look to set a balanced budget in February 2024.

Council Leader Cllr Bill Revans said ” I urge everyone to take part in our consultation, read through the information, understand our challenges, and have your say. We are facing very difficult decisions – this is not where we want to be. But we must face the reality of what is, fundamentally, a broken system of local government funding nationally.

The cost of delivering our services, particularly social care, is increasing at a much faster rate than our income. This means we have to consider every available option to plug our budget gap, including increasing fees, reducing operating costs and finding savings across all areas. Before we make any decisions, it’s important we listen to our residents, especially when those decisions will affect people across Somerset.”

In November, the Council’s Executive declared a financial emergency with an in-year overspend for 2023/24 of £27m and a projected budget gap for 2024/25 of £100m.

To close the gap and balance the budget next year a series of service reductions, efficiency savings, and increases to fees and charges, including Council Tax, will need to be considered.

It is clear that this alone will not close the budget gap and plans to fundamentally change the council’s systems and processes to streamline its operations will need to speed up to reduce the size of the council in future.

The consultation highlights several discretionary services which could be redesigned, reduced or even stopped.

Cllr Revans added” We are continuing to lobby Government to address the financial crisis facing local councils. Just last week the County Councils Network published a letter sent to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and signed by myself and 32 other Council Leaders from all over the country. The letter highlighted the growing concern nationally with 7 out of 10 councils no longer confident they can balance their budget next year.

We are asking Somerset’s MPs to join our call for fairer funding and I would encourage anyone who cares about local council services to write to your local MP to ask them to raise this at the highest level.”

The budget consultation opened on the 11th December and will close on 22nd January 2024.

The link can be found here : Budget Consultation 2024/2025  or can be completed in libraries and council offices across Somerset.

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Financial Risk Management Policy - March 2023

Grant Application Kings Coronation Form

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023, with an additional bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023.

We are keen to hear from groups/organisations in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge that are looking to celebrate the Coronation. The Town Council has £1500 available to allocate to events being organised to celebrate the Kings Coronation. The maximum grant to be allocated per event will be £500.

You must meet the following criteria for your application to be considered:

– The event will be open to all members of the public

– The event will be free of charge

– The event will take place within the Coronation weekend

– The event will take place within Burnham on Sea or Highbridge

 

Applications will close on Monday 6th March at midday. 

Your organisation and contact details

What happens next....
Applications will be considered at the Finance and Resources Committee Meeting on Monday 13th March 2023. You will be notified after this date whether your application has been successful.
Burnham & Highbridge Town Council takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information for the purposes of contacting you about this grant. The Council’s privacy notice can be found here.

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