City Council sets 19/20 budget

Published: Thursday, 14th February 2019

At its Budget Meeting last night (13 February) Oxford City Council passed its Budget for 2019/20 and its Medium Term Financial Strategy.

The Budget will see the average Band D Council Tax figure (excluding parish precepts) of £307.80, a 2.99 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of £298.86. Including parish precepts, the figure is £313.54, a 3.21 per cent increase, or about 19p a week.

Separately, Oxfordshire County Council's precept figure for 2019/20 is £66,529,920.44 giving a Band D Council Tax of £1,468.83, a 2.99 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of £1,426.19.

The Police and Crime Commissioner precept figure for 2019/20 is £9,343,349.46, giving a Band D Council Tax of £206.28, a 13.2 per cent increase on the 2018/19 figure of £182.28.

This equates to an overall average Band D equivalent Council Tax of £1,988.65, including parish, County Council, and Police and Crime Commissioner precepts.

Councillor Ed Turner, Board Member for Finance and Asset Management said: "As the Revenue Support Grant that we receive from the Government dwindles to nil from 1 April this year, interest rates remain low, and wider economic uncertainties pose further challenges, we have successfully explored other creative ways to bring in income. This has included the creation last year of Oxford Direct Services, our successful wholly-owned company. Next year, a dividend of over £1.5 million for Oxford City Council is projected from the organisation.,

"So despite the continuing economic outlook we have put forward a fully balanced four-year budget that retains front-line services, continues to support the most vulnerable, including providing extra spending towards ending homelessness and supporting the Oxford Living Wage, and which includes £230 million capital investment over the four-year period."

Other commitments in the Budget include:
• continuing the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for those on low incomes
• additional promotion of the Oxford Living Wage to local businesses and other organisations, as well as paying it to our own workforce
• an accessibility app to make the city easier for people with a disability to use fully
• additional funding of £200,000 towards homelessness a year to be implemented from April and leisure services made available for free to homeless pathway clients
• reviewing how best to use the government’s lifting of the restriction on borrowing in the Housing Revenue Account, and how this and our local housing company Oxford City Housing Ltd., can help address the city’s housing shortage
• no increase in park and ride charges
• a crèche to be trialed at Ferry Leisure Centre
• three drinking fountains to be installed in parks to give users a better experience and reduce plastic waste.

For more details of the 2018/19 budget visit the Council Budget Meeting page.