Investment in priority projects secure after budget approval

24 February 2021

Investment in priority projects will continue after South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) approved its budget plans for 2021/22.

Councillors backed the budget proposals and set next year’s Council Tax at a meeting of the Full Council last night (23 February).

They agreed an increase of 2.51% in SLDC’s part of the Council Tax bill, equivalent to an extra £5 a year on a Band D property.

The total SLDC portion of the annual Council Tax Bill for an average Band D property will be £204.54, which equates to 56 pence a day.

Last night’s Full Council meeting was told that the authority's sound financial situation meant it could continue to progress key projects that offered most benefit to residents thanks to careful management of the budget, despite the pressures caused by the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Councillor Andrew Jarvis, SLDC’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, explained that the £2 million cost of the pandemic response was being met from council reserves and that thanks to prudent financial work the council was able to present a balanced budget.

Councillor Jarvis said: “We continue to face challenges but we are still in a strong position to weather any storm and we can still deliver an affordable but ambitious programme in 2021/22.’’

Key projects being supported by the new budget include:

  • Economic development initiatives to support economic recovery from Covid
  • Measures in the council’s climate change action plan
  • Work to restore the Grange Lido site and improvements to Grange promenade
  • Supporting the delivery of more affordable housing
  • Contributing to the new roundabout on the A590 at Swarthmoor
  • Funding for a new leisure centre in Ulverston
  • Investing in car park improvements
  • Creation of a Mintworks 2 business enterprise hub in Kendal
  • Investment in playground improvements
  • Funding for increased disabled access toilet facilities through the Changing Places programme.

Leader of SLDC, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: “These are extremely difficult times but thanks to the hard work of our officers we are able to continue to deliver significant benefits for all our residents.

“We need to protect the council’s long-term finances with prudent management but we are also determined to protect our long-term ambitions and deliver on our key projects.’’

The SLDC element is only part of the final Council Tax bill received by residents. The overall bill also includes the demands from Cumbria County Council, Cumbria police and the local parish councils.

A Band D property owner in South Lakeland will typically pay a total Council Tax bill of £2,015 in 2021/22.

That breaks down as £204.54 that goes to South Lakeland District Council, £1,341 for Cumbria County Council, with a further £157 for the county council’s adult social services. In addition £272 goes to Cumbria police and an average £40 to the local town or parish council.