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Cabinet Members agree on amended budget proposals

Following consultation with residents, Forest of Dean District Council Cabinet Members have agreed on an amended draft budget for 2024/25. The proposed budget maintains local services in the face of reducing funding and plans for further expected cuts to local government finance. 

Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Andy Moore said:

“As a council, we’ve seen significant cuts to our funding from Government. 

“We have managed our finances well which means we aren’t in an immediate crisis, but a funding review of local government due in 2026 could see our budget slashed by a further 30% and we must plan for that.  

“We have had to raise charges on some of our services that will enable the Council to continue to provide the key services that residents rely on, including our work to prevent people becoming homeless, providing leisure services, bin collections and many others. It also enables us to reinvest money to maintain and improve the car parks and facilities, benefiting both businesses and residents of the Forest of Dean.”  

Leader of Forest of Dean District Council, Cllr Mark Topping said:

“We’d like to thank everyone who has been in touch and got involved in the recent budget consultation. As a council, we want to include and engage with as many residents as possible, and your feedback has helped us to try and strike the right balance with our budget. 

“The feedback around car parking charges showed that many people understand why charges need to be raised, but that they felt there needed to be more free spaces available in our car parks. We have listened to residents feedback, and we are proposing car parks will be free for the first hour, but that charges for longer stays will be raised. We believe this will help local people who need to visit the shops, or the doctor's surgery, but will also help us to increase revenue to maintain and make improvements to the car parks and toilets. 

“We also believe that by expanding the free parking available in our car parks it will reduce the number of people parking on residential streets, on kerbs and other places. Helping to make the roads and pavements around our town centres safer for residents.” 

The amendments to the draft budget proposal will see the first hour in all car parks amended to be free of charge. Those who are using the car park for longer than the first hour will see a rise in the cost of parking. Details for this can be found in the Fees and Charges document on the Forest of Dean District Council dedicated budget webpage. 

The option will remain for people to purchase longer term permits. This includes weekly, monthly and annual parking permits, allowing people to park in any of the Council car parks for as little as 60p a day. 

Forest of Dean District Council is responsible for a number of local services such as waste collection, planning, licensing, housing, parking, and leisure, with the county council delivering other services such as maintaining roads, adult social care, education, children’s services, and public health. 

The District Council receives only 9% of the total council tax bill residents pay, which is split between the District Council, County Council, Police, and Fire Service. Residents can see the exact split in their council tax bill. 

To pay for the budget the Council is proposing to raise council tax by under 12p a week for a band D property. This raise in council tax is assumed by Government as part of the funding deal they provided. 

With the draft budget proposal now agreed by Cabinet Members it will go to Full Council on the 22 February 2024. A decision will then be taken as to whether to proceed with the draft budget for 2024/25. Details of this will be announced on the Council website and social media channels.

The budget webpage can be found here: 

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]