This part of the consultation relates to support services such as Finance, Legal, support to Councillors, Human Resources, Communications and Information Technology.
The key priority is to ensure the Council is well managed in line with the priorities of residents. Overall the budget for this area amounts to £31.5 million a year.
The Council has previously consulted on net reductions of £2.1 million (6.7 per cent) in this area. As the proposals are largely on track, further proposals for 2019-20 are mostly technical in nature, including reducing budgets that have not been fully used in the past.
In addition, a separate consultation has taken place on Empty Homes Premium. The Council currently charges a higher Council Tax on empty unfurnished homes that have remained unoccupied for two years or more as a way to discourage owners from leaving properties empty for long periods of time.
The premium is currently set at 50 per cent but we are proposing to increase this to 100 per cent and this is expected to increase Council Tax income by around £0.3 million.
One further policy change has been proposed for consideration:
C1. Treasury Management Strategy:
The Council invests its cash balances into investments that provide further income to services. A change has been proposed to invest into longer-term funds that will increase our return on investment by £0.5 million.
This proposal fully considers the risks involved in this change to ensure that taxpayers money is invested wisely.