Last Thursday, the 18th February 2021, Wokingham Borough Council had its Budget Council meeting. This is the meeting where the Council set the Council Tax and decide on its spending for the the next year, with a plan for the following years.
The meeting was a four hour long virtual meeting, starting at 8pm and ending just before midnight.
Our Council Tax payments do need to go up, because of the large, Covid sized hole in the Council Finances. There has been no income from Leisure centres and a much reduced amount from car parking and licensing. The central government funding to cover the costs from the pandemic have not covered everything that the Council needed to do.
In summary, the key things that came out of this meeting were:
1) Council tax will go up 4.99%
2) The Council’s borrowing will pass £3/4 Billion by the end of 2024.
3) There is NO Covid Recovery Plan
4) Locating the right information in the Council Finance reports is a complex task.
5) Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration has, so far, not contributed any money to Wokingham Borough Council.
6) The Council leadership ignore the Constitution.
These are all things that we would seek to change if we were to get control of this council in May.