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Money matters – tell us how you want your council tax spent

Buckinghamshire Council is preparing its spending plans for 2024-25 and is asking residents, businesses and other local stakeholders to give their views on which services should be prioritised.

Like household budgets, councils across the country are also experiencing significant financial pressures due to rising costs and added demand on services. The general economic turbulence of the last year and a half has also made budget setting and forecasting even more challenging. In particular, the council has seen social care costs escalate even further in recent months due to many more vulnerable residents needing our help.

With everyone managing their own cost of living pressures, it’s really important that residents tell the council how they want to see next year’s council tax spent.

Council tax is the main way that local council services are funded – from bin collections to road repairs to looking after adults and children who need our care. The council has ongoing costs to provide its services and also draws up capital spending plans too – ‘one-off’ spends on particular projects or schemes such as last year’s decision to invest millions of pounds extra in resurfacing and repairing the county’s roads after significant winter damage.

The council’s ‘Money Matters’ survey has gone live today – this is the way residents can tell the council which areas they want prioritised in next year’s budget. The survey takes just ten minutes to complete. These views are then fed into the final budget proposals which are then heavily scrutinised just after Christmas in a series of special meetings. The final budget is then voted on during February ready to ‘go live’ on 1 April 2024.

Councillor Martin Tett is Leader of Buckinghamshire Council. He said:

“Budget setting in recent times has become extremely difficult. While we are seeing some more stability and a slowing of inflation, we have also seen very significant rises in social care costs, with many more people coming through the door needing our help. It means we’re already spending more than we budgeted for this year on services like social care and temporary accommodation and if this trend continues, it puts even more pressure on our overall budgets.

I have to level with people and explain that we will have to take some really tough decisions to balance our books. We know residents have been experiencing ongoing cost of living pressures, so we face very difficult choices on how we provide some services going forward.

All this means it is absolutely crucial that we build up a clear picture of what residents want us to do. I urge you therefore to tell us by completing the ‘Money Matters’ survey.”

Notes to Editor



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