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The view from Katesgrove Hill

Tag: Budget cuts (page 1 of 2)

Changes to Reading Borough Council fees and charges from 1 April

Whitley Pump - May 2016

Whitley Pump roundabout

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has a schedule of charges for everything from overdue library book fines to planning fees and advertising on the Whitley Pump roundabout. The list covers 26 pages and is a fascinating insight into the minutiae of local government, Reading style.

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Council tax proposals for next year will be discussed at Tuesday’s council meeting

Reading Borough Council Civic Offices

Reading Borough Council (RBC) will discuss a 3.99% increase in council tax at the full council meeting on 25 February. This includes a general increase of 1.99% (2019/20 2.99%) as well as an additional 2% which will be spent solely on adult social care. RBC is also responsible for collecting ‘precepts’ for the police and fire authorities with council tax payments.
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Council proposes 3% increase in allotment rental charge

Reading Borough Council (RBC) proposes to increase the rental charge on their 20 allotment sites by 3% in 2020. The policy committee meeting discussed the proposal, in the draft 2020/21 budget and medium term financial strategy (MTFS), on 16 December and agreed to a public consultation before the budget is set in February.

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50% increase in allotment rental planned


Reading Borough Council (RBC) plan to increase the rental on their 20 allotment sites by 50%. The proposal was included in the schedule of fees and charges within the RBC budget and medium term financial strategy approved by the council meeting on 26 February.

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Council tax and RBC budget approved for next year

Civic Offices

The Reading Borough Council (RBC) full council meeting considered weighty financial matters on Tuesday 26 February, which included agreeing to next year’s council tax charges.

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Alpine Street grit bin has a staycation this year

Katesgrove’s VIP grit bin on Alpine Street has decided that the weather is so good that there is no need to head for the Costa del Depot this year.

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Disabled people protest proposed changes to concessionary bus passes

Simone Illger waiting for a bus on Shinfield Road

Disabled people, trade unionists and Berkshire Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) will be outside Reading Borough Council (RBC) civic offices on Bridge Street on Monday 11 June at 6pm to protest council proposals to reduce concessionary bus services for disabled people.

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Reading East MP Matt Rodda speaks out on local authority funding

Matt Rodda, Katesgrove councillor and Reading East MP

Reading East MP Matt Rodda spoke in the parliamentary debate about the National Audit Office (NAO) report on the financial sustainability of local authorities on 20 March.

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Where are signed off RBC accounts for 2017?

Demolition of the Old Civic Centre

Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on 12 March was not provided with an update on progress towards completing accounts for the year ended 31 March 2017. Papers were presented in an eerily hushed council chamber and the meeting ended after less than half an hour.

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Completion date for last year’s RBC accounts still unknown

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) strategic director of finance Peter Lewis updated the policy committee on Monday evening about progress on completion of accounts for the year ended 31 March 2017.

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RBC welcomes £355k additional adult social care funding

An unexpected bonus for councils of additional funding for adult social care was agreed by Parliament on 7 February, of which Reading will receive £355,000. This was welcomed by Reading Borough Council (RBC), but it came too late for the budget calculations which are going to RBC policy committee on Monday 19 February.

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Alpine Street grit bin threatened in latest round of council savings

Reading Borough Council (RBC) propose to save £16,000 next year by ending the provision of grit bins in key locations across the town, including at the junction of Alpine Street and Elgar Road.

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Question: what does Reading have in common with Derby and the Isles of Scilly?

Answer: all three councils were late in producing accounts for the year ended 31 March 2017, had a problem with the accounts for the previous year and were issued with a statutory written recommendation by their auditors during the year. This is not a select troika to which any council wants to belong.

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Financial Roundabout at Reading Borough Council

Les troyens a Carthage 1863 - throne room of Didon - design by Chaperon-Gallica

A play in three acts performed in reverse order over three nights at the Reading Borough Council (RBC) Civic Offices in January 2018.

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Re-arranging the deck chairs on the good ship Reading Borough Council

Reading Borough Council (RBC) will create five senior posts within corporate services and the environment and neighbourhood services departments. The proposal was agreed at the council’s personnel committee on 12 October.

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Woe, woe and thrice woe!

Audit & Governance Committee 28 September 2017 (councillors are on the right hand side of the table; council officers and Ernst & Young auditors on the left; chair, directors and committee adminstrator are at the head of the table)

After tossing and turning for the last twelve months grappling with the possibility that something was not right in the subterranean world of Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) accounts department, the council’s audit & governance committee have woken up with a start. Things are not getting better; they are getting worse.

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‘Significant challenges’ in production of Reading Borough Council’s annual accounts

Feeding frenzy at the Civic Offices

Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) audit and governance committee expected to receive accounts and a report from council auditors Ernst & Young (EY) for the year ended 31 March 2017 at their meeting on Thursday 28 September; this will not now happen.

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A long summer for accountants and auditors

Have you downloaded or printed off the first draft of the Statement of Accounts 2016/17 from Reading Borough Council (RBC) to read on the beach this summer?

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Council attempting to “erase” Reading’s Afro-Caribbean history, says CAG

The Caribbean Associations Group (CAG) and the Aspire Community Interest Company have called a public meeting at RISC on Friday 4 August to discuss how to save the Central Club building on London Street, together with its famous ‘black history’ mural.

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Doom and gloom at the Audit and Governance Committee

Frigg, Thor and Odin

The audit and governance committee is always a serious business. Never more so than in Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) current situation where it finds itself stuck between the rock of negative reports from external auditors, internal auditors and Ofsted and the hard place of budget cuts.

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