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Council investing in Guildford

The budget for 2017-18 approved by the Council last night features investment and improvements in Council services, set against a backdrop of significant cuts in government funding. Councillors agreed that Guildford Borough Council's portion of the council tax should increase by 3.19% or £5 a year for a band D property.

Lead Councillor for Finance, Cllr Michael Illman, says: "The cuts in grants to councils made by the government are severe, however, our council tax continues to offer value for money for residents and we are planning to invest in a number of projects throughout the whole of the borough. Our government grant for 2017-18 has been reduced by £780,000. Despite this, we are making £1.9 million worth of investment in services and improvements in the borough. We are planning £3.4 million in savings and additional income.

"We will receive no government grant at all by 2018-19 so we have tough decisions to make on how we maintain the quality and range of our services, and how we deliver investment projects. Despite all of this, we have an exciting and ambitious corporate plan and will continue to deliver quality services with fewer resources ensuring a sustainable financial future."

Our plans for service delivery include an investment of £1.9 million. This includes:

• Investment in waste and recycling

• Design and feasibility work to progress the regeneration of the Bedford road / cinema area

• Design and feasibility work for infrastructure and transport routes, for example, a new road bridge over the railway at Ash Station and new cycling routes

• A study to assess the platform capacity requirements for Guildford Mainline Station (working in partnership with Network Rail)

• Increased repairs and maintenance funding for our playgrounds

• Provision for increased costs as a result of new legislation around apprenticeships, data protection and procurement.

Our plans to achieve a sustainable future include capital investment in the borough and our facilities of £125 million. These schemes include:

• Investment in new social housing

• North Street regeneration

• Potential redevelopment of Council-owned land in the town centre, for example, Bedford road / cinema area

• Investment in town centre infrastructure and transport routes (gyratory and cycling)

• Investment in additional car park capacity

• Improvement in town centre 'public realm'

• Investment in Guildford Museum

• Guildford West (Park Barn Station)

• Slyfield regeneration/Clay Lane link road

• Redevelopment of Middleton Industrial Estate

• Westfield Road/Moorfield Road resurfacing.

Published on Thursday 9 February.