N-u-L Budget 'Limits cost to residents'

Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s council tax will rise by a maximum of 8p a week for most residents.

Full Council last night approved the detailed, balanced budget proposal for 2024/25, and also backed the next phase of Newcastle’s town centre regeneration at Ryecroft, York Place and the Midway.

Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Approving the next stage of the town centre regeneration project continues the long term process of changing the face of Newcastle for the next generation.

“And at the same time we’re sowing the seeds for the economic and social revitalisation of the town centre, we’re also focusing through our annual budget on the here and now, by delivering improvements that people will notice at a very local level.

“The approved budget includes funding for repairs to council owned paths and playgrounds, plus money for improvements in the historic market, a new fleet of green vehicles for waste collection, parks maintenance and cutting roadside weeds, and – as the current overall winners of Britain in Bloom – we will be working with communities, businesses and volunteers to keep our communities looking smart.”

As well as the once-in-a-generation redevelopment in Newcastle town centre, the authority is also part of the £17 million Kidsgrove Town Deal, which includes money for Chatterley Valley West business park, Kidsgrove Sports Centre, improving the town’s train station and upgrading the canal.

Other expenditure includes £3.5 million for Knutton, including new homes for Aspire Housing, an expansion of Staffordshire County Council’s enterprise centre, new changing facilities at the Wammy sports fields and a new village hall.

The council must balance its books every year and despite rising fuel and energy costs, a larger than expected pay award for staff, and increasing demand for temporary accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable, the approved budget means 19 out of every 20 residents will only pay between 5p and 8p a week extra.

The 1.99 per cent increase in the authority’s council tax means that a household classed as Band D will pay an additional £4.27 for the year, taking the overall figure to £218.69.

Measuring the council against other, comparable authorities, the Borough Council is in the top performing 25 per cent for the low cost of collecting Council Tax, processing planning applications on time and receiving low numbers of complaints.

The authority was also in the top half of councils for low waste collection costs, high recycling rates and low numbers of fly-tipping incidents.


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