Reducing fly-tipping, promoting a cleaner, greener future and supporting local residents and businesses in the Cost of Living crisis are among plans for the coming year by the District Council.
The goals are among a range of Business Plan and Budget targets for the next 12 months which were approved in a meeting of the Full Council today (21 February).
Goals for helping local residents include:
- Reducing fly-tipping hotspots through cameras and prompt investigation into dumped rubbish reports.
- Civil Parking Enforcement in South Cambridgeshire, working with Cambridgeshire County Council and the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
- Helping older people live independently in their homes for longer with a new Mobile Warden scheme.
- Bringing forward community buildings at Northstowe.
- Supporting the health and wellbeing of residents with grants for local projects.
- Continued support for the Homes for Ukraine scheme to help guests who have arrived in the past year to move away from hosts and into more independent living arrangements, wherever possible.
Goals for helping business include:
- Supporting start-ups and small businesses growth eg providing space at the Council’s Cambourne office.
- Advising businesses on how to become greener.
- Promoting local businesses, offering tailored support and resources, as well as identifying funding opportunities.
- Continuing to support and help establish South Cambridgeshire local markets.
In-line with the Council’s green to the core goals, there are plans to:
- Address water scarcity in Greater Cambridge by working with Cambridge City Council, the water industry, and others.
- Distribute up to £125,000 as part of the Council’s annual Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme.
- Provide grants to villages for more tree-planting.
- Award up to £50,000 in grants to help with the installation of electric vehicle charging points at village halls and community buildings.
- Continue with plans for a solar farm to power electric bin lorries at the Waterbeach depot of the Council’s Greater Cambridge Shared Waste service with Cambridge City Council.
- Replace diesel bin lorries as they come to the end of their working lives with low-emission vehicles, or those powered by alternative fuels such as biofuel.
Cllr Bridget Smith, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We continue to work hard for the residents and businesses of South Cambridgeshire, which is more important than ever with everyone feeling the impact of the increased cost-of-living. Our proposals map out plans for the year ahead and beyond, as we continue to strive to be a modern and caring Council.”
The Budget outlines how the Council is well underway with an ambitious four-year transformation programme to improve the quality of services while making the most efficient use of funds as possible. The programme is forecast to deliver £2million in savings in the next three years.
A below inflation £5 per year increase in Council Tax for the average band D home will ensure essential frontline services continue to be delivered effectively. This equates to £165.31 per year for a band D home - an increase of around 10p per week. The rise continues to maintain the Council’s position in the lowest 25% of taxing District Councils in the country.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr John Williams, commented: “Councils are always having to find ways to do more with less money and we are happy that our budget contains a wide range of support to residents and businesses in South Cambridgeshire. Raising our small share of Council Tax by a below inflation increase of £5 a year means we can continue delivering key services that residents rely on.”
The Council’s Housing Revenue Account – a ringfenced account used to maintain its stock of around 5,600 Council homes – has its own budget targets. Highlights include:
- Having successfully doubled the number of new Council homes built in South Cambridgeshire from 35 in 2019/20 to 70 in 2021/22, the target is for at least 75 new energy-efficient Council homes to be delivered every year.
- During the next two years, more than £2million has been allocated to continue work to retrofit the Council’s existing housing stock, as part of ongoing carbon reduction efforts.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Batchelor, said: “Plans for our Housing service are ambitious as we seek to reduce our carbon footprint while providing support to tenants. Importantly, we aim to deliver at least 75 new, high quality, modern and energy-efficient Council homes for tenants every year.”