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£1m investment in city at heart of Worcester City Council budget plans

£1m investment in city at heart of Worcester City Council budget plans

An investment of £1.1m in new play, sport, community facilities, the city's appearance and environment, alongside celebrations of the Jublilee and the Commonwealth Games, is at the heart of proposals for Worcester City Council's budget for 2022-23.

Initiatives including a new BMX pump track in St Peter's, a new play area in Warndon, electric vehicle charging points in city car parks, and more investment in ensuring the city is clean and welcoming are just some of the plans to be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee on 8 February.

They will form part of the proposed £12.14m net budget for 2022-23 that will be recommended to the full Council meeting later this month.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of the City Council, said: "This budget moves forward a number of important activities promised in the last Conservative manifesto. They will hopefully make a lasting difference to the quality of life for people in Worcester, while also keeping Council Tax as low as possible, in recognition of the cost of living pressures that people are facing."

The budget proposals include £100,000 to transform an unused strip of land off Cotswold Way in Warndon into a new play area with environmental enhancements, and £60,000 to create a new BMX pump track in the St. Peter's area.

There are also plans to spend £140,000 on converting the upper floor of the Comer Gardens Institute into a community facility area, and

£200,000 is earmarked to install more electric vehicle charging points in suitable locations in the car parks the Council operates.

The current year has seen an increase in the amount of street cleaning the City Council undertakes and it is proposed this continues in 2022-23 with a funding boost of £80,000.

If approved, the budget plans will also see the city's appearance and environment benefit from £10,000 to train council workers in managing biodiversity, £38,000 for a specialist cut-and-collect mower to support wild flowers in Worcester's verges and grassed areas, and an extra £40,000 to boost efforts to control gull numbers.

It's proposed that £30,000 is set aside for the marking of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee and a further £30,000 for celebrations of the Commonwealth Games.

The Policy and Resources Committee will debate the proposals on 8 February and will then make recommendations to the full Council, which will meet on 22 February to agree the 2022-23 budget.

If approved, the budget recommendations would result in a £5.00 rise in the City Council's element of Council Tax bills – in line with the Government's approved levels of increase for average Band D households.

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