Sound financial approach allows for extra investment in priorities
A range of new schemes are set to be given the financial go-ahead thanks to Telford & Wrekin Council’s careful financial approach.
Just under £4million of money saved last year by the Council will be used to support anumber of new initiatives. These include:
- £750,000 to improve car parking on estates
- £600,000 to support the Council’s Job Box programme to help tackle youth unemployment and to extend this for a further two years. The Job Box programme has already helped halve youth unemployment in the borough
- £500,000 Combined with unused funding from the Council’s earlier Pride in Your High Streets scheme this will be used to create a £700,000 funding pot to support High Streets in key borough towns. This money will be used for improvements to things such as CCTV, create more public wifi spots, road improvements and bringing empty retail units back into use.
- £400,000 will be spent on a new state of the art 3G football and multi sports pitch, new changing rooms and improved community facilities at the Telford Ski & Snowboard Centre in Madeley
- £100,000 will be used to improve rights of way across the borough.
As well as theCouncil’s sound financial management which saw it finish the last financial0.1% under budget, these new investments have been boosted by the success of the Council’s development of new commercial services to help limit cuts toservices. By 2019, these are expected to contribute an extra £2 million a year to help support council services.
For example theCouncil-owned private rental housing firm Nuplace last year achieved a £274,000pre-tax profit and in addition generated income of over £1m for theCouncil.
Councillor LeeCarter, cabinet member for finance, commercial services and economicdevelopment said: “Our careful approach has meant we have been able to provide extra support tothe services facing the most pressure on their budget and provide investment tosupport these new initiatives to help make our borough a better place to live,work, learn, visit and do business – doing that with the aim of benefittingevery resident in the Borough.
“This is despitethe toughest financial climate ever for councils as our grant from governmentcontinues to reduce.
“By the end ofthis year, this Council will since 2010 have reduced its budget £109 million,which has been a huge challenge, while we must find a further £21 million ofcuts by 2020.
“However ourpositive approach to new commercial opportunities and the support of manycommunity organisation and groups who have taken on services we can no longerto provide, such as some libraries, we have so far restricted the full effectsof these cuts but I fear this will become ever more difficult for us toachieve.”