Forest of Dean District Council’s finances come out on top again

Forest of Dean District Council have once again come in under budget for the second year in a row, meaning services have been delivered efficiently for local taxpayers while also managing the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Richard Leppington said: “Following a tough year I am delighted that as a council we have delivered all our services to residents under budget. Delivering efficient and effective public services is really important and we continue to do that. I would like to thank all the officers and councillors involved.

“What makes this especially important this year is we have had to deal with a loss of our regular income as a result of the pandemic and also deliver many additional services to support our local communities.

“We have well outperformed our initial projections for the year and actually now have additional funds we can put in our reserves to fund future projects which is great for the district.”

The Council recorded a surplus of £137,594 for the 2020/21 year which will go into the Council reserves to be used at a future date if needed.

The Council received £1.3m of Central Government funding in 2020/21 which has helped to cover additional costs as a result of the pandemic including supporting the homeless, helping leisure facilities, additional safety measures and other costs. The funding has also helped to cover some of the 25% of lost income from car parking, building control services, court fees and other sales, fees and charges that make up the council’s yearly budget that the Government has not supported.

Throughout 2020/21 the Council played a key role administering Government support grants for businesses and also provided local financial support to tenants. Over £32.9m worth of business grants were distributed to local firms during periods of restrictions and business rates relief was given to 436 commercial properties, totalling £4.26m. 

Cllr Leppington said, “I am really proud of all the work we have done across the pandemic to help provide financial support to our local businesses to help keep our local economy going.

“Our teams worked really hard to distribute the Government grants as quickly as possible on top of their usual day to day work.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the businesses for working with us over the pandemic and we wish them all the best as we recover from the pandemic."

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Forest of Dean Communications Team

Notes to editors