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This is made possible through “careful” financial management, with £500,000 in grants to support local initiatives.

In February, district councillors will be asked to approve a 2024-2025 budget.

The budget seeks to uphold quality, affordable services for residents while maintaining investments in key areas.

Despite pressing issues, including Government funding not matching inflation, a capped council tax increase and the persistent cost of living rise, the proposal does not reduce district council services.

South Oxfordshire will also continue to charge one of the lowest district council tax rates in England.

An average council tax for a Band D property will be £146.24 for the year.

This is an increase of £5 on the previous year and equivalent to less than £2.82 a week.

Residents’ council tax contributes to services provided by the district council like waste and recycling collections, community support, leisure services, parks and public toilets, housing services, planning services, environmental health and licensing.

This proposed budget will include nearly £6.8 million in Government funding.

Councillor Pieter-Paul Barker, cabinet member for finance and property assets at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Over the last year we’ve made significant investments in our leisure centres and community buildings across South Oxfordshire to reduce their energy use and make them more cost-effective to run.

“We’ve provided considerable support to help people lead more active lives and our Community Hub has continued to help residents who are struggling financially.

“We’ve put plans in place to deliver more affordable housing and we’ve secured and provided funding for projects to improve local infrastructure, to boost our rural economy and support local businesses.

“We’ve also helped to fund numerous community projects across the district, including those that take action to tackle climate change, and I’m pleased to confirm that this year’s budget proposal includes the commitment to continue doing this at the same level in 2024-25.

“We’re in a much more positive position than many other authorities and continue do well to maintain our finances.

“With the current economic and political uncertainty, and the ongoing impact of reductions in funding from the government, it’s important that we remain extra vigilant and stay focussed on achieving long-term stability.”

The budget proposal is awaiting council approval.

A meeting is arranged for February 22, where spending proposals, revenue, and capital plans as well as the council tax will be discussed and settled.

Details of the proposed 2024-2025 South Oxfordshire District Council budget is available on the council’s February 15 cabinet agenda information page.

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