Archive for the ‘Local Government’ Category

South Glos council tax to rise by 2.99 percent

Posted on Thursday 14th March 2019 at 9:22 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) element of the council tax levied on local households is to increase by 2.99 percent from April.

The latest rise follows inflation-busting uplifts of 5.99 percent in 2018/19 and 4.99 percent in 2017/18, both of which included a ring-fenced levy of 3 percent to support adult social care.

The social care levy could not be increased further for 2018/19 as the council has already reached the government-imposed cap of a 6 percent cumulative rise over three years.

The increase means that the South Gloucestershire Council element of council tax for a Band D property for 2019/20 will rise to £1,484.

Meeting on 13th February, councillors agreed to set a revenue budget of almost £221 million. The spending plans also include a further £208 million that will be distributed to schools.

The Budget papers show that while the council’s finances are projected to remain in balance for the coming two years, this is only by using reserves set aside for this purpose, delivering additional savings and generating extra income. The council concedes that challenges remain in the medium term, caused by falling government grants and increased costs and demand for services.

Public consultation carried out by the council prior to the budget-setting process showed that 37 percent of respondents expressed a preference for a lower council tax rise for 2019/20 of 1.99 percent, while 36 percent opted for the finally chosen value of 2.99 percent.

The council’s Conservative administration says its budget includes £78 million of investment in local schools and £35m for road and highways (both over four years).

There will also be £3.2m of additional funding for social care, with further increases set aside for extra support to deal with the spike in demand for adult social care seen over the winter months.

More: Police precept increased by a massive 12.38 percent »

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Metro Mayor election on 4th May

Posted on Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 9:25 pm by SH (Editor)

West of England Mayoral Election, 4th May 2017.

Voters in Bradley Stoke and across the wider West of England region are being called to choose a ‘Metro Mayor’ in a poll to be held on Thursday 4th May.

The election follows the decision by three local councils – Bath & North East Somerset; Bristol; and South Gloucestershire – to accept a devolution deal proposed by the government.

Features of the West of England devolution deal include:

  • Control of a new additional £30 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be used to boost growth in the region
  • Devolution of multi-year transport budgets, enabling the region to deliver transport projects with greater certainty that the funds are in place
  • Responsibility for the adult education budget, helping the region ensure that adult skills provision meets the needs of local businesses and learners
  • Enhanced powers to speed up the delivery of new housing in line with the Joint Spatial Plan

A new West of England Combined Authority was established in February 2017 to oversee the new powers. The authority’s current members are Cllr Tim Warren, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council; Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol; and Cllr Matthew Riddle, leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

Following the mayoral election on Thursday 4th May, the authority will be chaired by the new West of England Mayor.

Most decisions made by the authority will require the agreement of a majority of the four members – provided this includes the Mayor.

More: Likely candidates and further information »

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[Letter] “Arrogance” of our town councillors

Posted on Saturday 18th October 2014 at 7:52 pm by Fred Hillberg (Forum)

Reader's letter (Bradley Stoke Journal).

Like many of your readers, I was amazed at the arrogance shown by our town councillors in ignoring the will of Bradley Stoke residents, who voted in favour of extra car parking at the Brook Way Activity Centre & Bradley Stoke Surgery site, in place of the existing tennis courts (also the cheapest option).

Still, this is something we have experienced for many years – the cronyism, the secret meetings and the cosy little ‘Conservative club’ who think they can walk on water and spend our tax as they wish.

We have the same stale old faces year after year who have gained their seats with marginal votes and have not been challenged by the electorate, so we are all to blame.

Town councils have very little power anyway, and have to obtain permission from South Gloucestershire Council for anything of any significance, and the budget money goes back and forth to pay for services provided by South Gloucestershire anyway. So what’s the point of a town council? Democracy? Accountability? That’s a joke! It’s just another layer of bureaucracy, which we pay for, and an ego trip for most of the councillors.

What we need is more independent councillors at all levels, who have the interest of the public who voted them in, and not their political masters. It should also be compulsory that you live in the area you represent.

Remember, we get what we deserve. Use your vote, it was fought for! And have your say!

Fred Hillberg, Bradley Stoke

This letter originally appeared in the October 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

Related link: Brook Way consultation “a costly waste of time,” says disgruntled neighbour

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[Forum] Bradley Stoke Town Council moves into new premises

Posted on Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 6:50 am by Cllr Roger Avenin (Forum)

Bradley Stoke Town Council's new office under construction.

Bradley Stoke Town Council moved into the new premises at the Jubilee Centre on Monday 18th June. Details of the new address and telephone numbers can be found on the website.

This represents a significant achievement as the building was completed earlier than expected and was well within the budget set. Preliminary indications are that the cost is a little over £300k which is significantly lower than the figure of £400k which was previously bandied about. Credit for this must be given to the Town Council staff, many of whom worked tirelessly to achieve this. Notwithstanding the size of the development, this must be one of the few projects anywhere that has been achieved early and well within cost. Additionally the Town Council is now more centrally located and within easier reach of a larger number of residents.

When the loan for the building is eventually paid off (in lieu of rent of circa £30k pa), this new building will virtually represent a free resource for the town.

The decision to build in the first place was made by the Conservative-run council and is both pragmatic and financially prudent. Such a course of action would most certainly not have been made by any other administration

At a later date it is planned to hold an official opening ceremony.

Cllr Roger Avenin, Bradley Stoke Town Council

Photo: The new office pictured during construction in April.

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