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Council sets budget for coming year

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has set its budget for providing essential services at £10.4m for the coming year.

A Council Tax increase of £5 (3.26%) has also been agreed – setting Band D payments at £158.40 for 2021/22 which equates to a rise of less than ten pence per week.

The District Council collects Council Tax on behalf of the County Council, the Police and Fire Authority and town and parish councils but only spends 9% of the total.

Councillor Sybil Ralphs, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The last year has seen everyone having to cope with the challenges presented by Covid – and the Council is not exempt from that. We have faced additional costs alongside the adverse impact the pandemic has had on our finances.

“We always have the very best interests of our taxpayers, and the responsibility that comes with spending public funds, at the centre of our budget setting considerations and, despite the challenging circumstances this year, this has not changed. Our residents and businesses have a right to expect that from us as we continue to deliver the high quality public services we all rely on.

“We have been able to keep the increase as low as possible as a result of our ongoing commitment to delivering value for money services and our prudent approach to our finances – including our strategic alliance with our partners in High Peak which has achieved budget savings for the Council in excess of £8m over the last ten years.

“People can be assured that we will continue to take a pro-active approach to identifying and implementing further ways to ensure we are using our resources efficiently and to best effect.”

The funding is used to provide services including affordable housing, waste and recycling, street cleaning, leisure centres, parks and playgrounds development and maintenance, support for local businesses, crime prevention activities, benefits services and elections.

Councillor Ralphs added: “Since the onset of measures to control Covid in March last year we have worked hard to support our communities and our businesses to adapt to frequently changing circumstances.

“I am proud of the way our teams have worked tirelessly, along with partners, to ensure we are looking after those who are most vulnerable in our society. We have also taken on extra responsibilities including administering over £31m in grant payments to local businesses.

“All of this has been done alongside the continued, unbroken provision of the regular services that are so important to our daily lives, including waste and recycling collection and street cleaning, and the help and advice provided by our staff in customer services.

“As we move to our changed reality following the challenges of Covid, our budget has been set this year with a pledge to continue to provide responsive and supportive public services to all our communities.”

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