Gloucester City Council’s budget for the coming financial year includes allocations for improving nature reserves, enhancing play areas in the city and regenerating the city centre.

The 2017/18 money plan, which will be discussed in February’s full council meeting, includes investment into regeneration and improving the nature reserves in the city.

Following a six week public consultation last year, which saw 263 residents and businesses respond, the budget allocates a total £13.5million investment into regenerating and improving the city.

Earlier this year the city council started the £6.4million regeneration of Gloucester’s bus station. Previously unused buildings, such as Albion House and The Fleece Hotel, have also been injected with cash to make them usable.

This regeneration is set to continue throughout 2017/18 with more than £5million being invested into the regeneration of Kings Quarter. 

The public told the council that the waste collection and recycling services, quickly followed by the street cleaning and litter collection, are amongst the most important services provided.

The new recycling service that was successfully launched last month has seen the council invest £1.9million in new vehicles. By collecting these extra materials recycling has been made easier and will increase by up to five per cent, in turn making savings in the region of £300,000 per year.

However, councils across the country are facing some of the toughest financial times in decades.

Part of the plans to reach £2.6million savings by 2021/2022, the council tax for band D properties will see an annual £5 increase. 

Due to the high levels of further savings required the ‘Together Gloucester’ project has been launched which is tasked with delivering £1m of savings in 2017/18.

This project will focus on making appropriate changes to how the council works as an organisation whilst protecting front line services as much as possible.

The council will continue to work with other councils and partners to see where services can be shared.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for performance and resources at Gloucester City Council, said: “We really appreciate all the feedback we received, it’s essential for us to see what residents and businesses think our priorities should be.

“We’ve listened to your feedback and prioritised investment into regenerating the city, making it an even better place to live, work and play.

“I’ve said before that this has been one of our toughest budgets yet. We’ve been challenged with having to make significant savings, we’re confident that this budget plan tackles those issues in the most efficient way possible.

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Gloucester City council invest £13.4million into regeneration by Shaun Moore | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/