Historic meeting sets first ever BCP Council budget

The final meeting of the BCP Shadow Authority has set a budget for BCP Council that puts £10million extra funding into social care, despite a cumulative annual reduction of £105m in government funding since 2010/11.

The first year of BCP Council’s operation will see a gross revenue budget of £735million in 2019/20.  This equates to £2million spent on public services in the area, every single day of the year.

In setting the budget, the Shadow Authority agreed:

  • a 2.99% increase in Council Tax in Poole, taking a Band D property from to £1,441.53
  • a 2.4% increase in Bournemouth, taking a Band D property to £1,473.40
  • a reduction on Christchurch Council Tax, taking Band D to £1,598.30

Leader of the Shadow Authority, Cllr Janet Walton said, “The amount of work that has led to the setting of the first ever BCP Council budget cannot be underestimated.  This budget will allow the new BCP Council to provide almost 400,000 residents with the services they need and expect, whilst investing in the things that will help our area achieve greater prosperity in the future, improve the quality of life of our residents and attract both public and private sector investment to our thriving city region.”

Cllr John Beesley, Deputy Chair of the Shadow Executive and Chairman of the Finance Task and Finish Group which undertook the detailed budget work said, “Let’s not forget that the creation of this new council was our strategic response to the financial challenges we face – funding reductions alongside the increasing demand for, and rising cost of our core services, especially those supporting the most vulnerable in our community. Despite these challenges, we have managed to continue to protect services as much as possible, particularly those for residents who need Council support the most, whilst also investing an estimated £235m into the capital programme for regeneration, and improving assets and infrastructure over the next three years.”

The meeting also agreed a Constitution for the new Council, noting that this is likely to be reviewed by BCP Council upon its inception after the local elections on 2nd May 2019.

Chairman of the Shadow Authority, Cllr Ray Nottage, thanked all Councillors for their work on the preceding councils of Bournemouth Borough Council, Christchurch Borough Council, Borough of Poole Council and Dorset County Council, and for their contribution to the work of the Shadow Authority.

The full budget report can be found here.

The new Constitution can be found here.