Saffron Walden Town Council approves budget in line with 5 year financial plan

On Monday 9th January Saffron Walden Town Council  approved the budget for the 2017 financial year in line with the 5-year financial plan adopted in January 2016.

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

Cllr Paul Gadd, leader of R4U at Saffron Walden Town Council said “We are pleased that the Town Council has been able to work to the 5-year financial plan agreed by parties last year whilst maintaining our programme of restoring the Town’s assets and rebuilding the depleted financial reserves that we inherited.  The 2017 budget, agreed by all parties, will see an increase in the Saffron Walden council tax precept of 2%, which is in line with the rate of inflation. To put this into context, 2% is a six-pence a week increase for the average Band-D property. Even this small increase would have been avoided had Uttlesford District Council not decided to keep half of the central Government grant money which it is given that is intended for town and parish councils.”

“We will continue to work hard on the Town Council to ensure that services are maintained, assets are repaired and properly looked after, new professional working methods are adopted and the Council’s financial reserves are slowly rebuilt.”   

“The most visible project is the restoration work to the Town Hall, which continues to be on time and on budget, and we are looking forward to a scaffolding-free building in the reasonably near future. We have prudently used long term borrowing to part-fund these works while interest rates are at record lows. This helps to avoid an undue financial burden unfairly falling on current taxpayers.  At the same time we have made great progress in other areas. We have refurbished the interior of the Golden Acre Community Centre. We have also remedied the sports field at Catons Lane, and it now provides a much needed resource for junior teams.  We have set up working groups to look at increasing the capacity of the Town Hall, to work with ECC for schemes to improve our roads and pavements and to revamp our playgrounds, and we are advancing proposals to put a proper path across the bottom of the Common and to further improve Golden Acre.” 

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK.

R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.