Throughout this week, all households in the borough will receive a booklet with their council tax bill, breaking down how Swindon Borough Council spends its money to support and improve the town.
The booklet reflects on the progress made throughout the past financial year while also taking a look at the budget for the year ahead, outlining how residents’ money will be spent.
This year’s average council tax has increased by 4.99%, a rise of 2.99% for general funds, which can be spent on any services, and 2% which is ring-fenced for adult social care.
At a time when local authority funding from the Government is reducing, demand and the cost of delivering services is rising, leading to significant changes to the way in which the Council spends its money.
For example, 80% of the budget in 2018-19 will be spent on supporting vulnerable adults and children in the borough.
This includes foster care, which can cost up to £1,800 a week per child, as well as residential care for older people, which costs approximately £26,000 per year.
Cllr David Renard, Leader of the Council, said: “We know that residents are interested in how their council tax is spent, so this booklet sets it all out to make it clear how our budget will be distributed over the course of this financial year.
“As the booklet shows, the majority of money will be spent on supporting vulnerable adults and children, a relatively small percentage of the borough’s population.
“Although many residents will not require these services, I am sure everyone will appreciate how important these are to those who receive them and their families.”
Electronic copies of the booklets were issued yesterday (5 March) to those residents who have signed up to receive a digital copy of their council tax bill.
Those who receive a paper bill will receive a copy of the booklet by post towards the end of this week.
Residents are being asked to provide feedback on the booklet via an online survey and details of how to do this can be found within the publication.
Those who provide feedback will be given the opportunity to be entered into a prize draw to win one of three prizes donated for free by local businesses.