Budget Slashed funding by £12,000:
Councillor Nigel Manning (Ash Vale) made a passionate plea to at the Guildford Borough Council Budget meeting to reconsider their damaging decision to slash the £12,000 grant to Ash Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) for their Independent Living Advisor (ILA). The ILA specially helps elderly and vulnerable residents, living alone, to manage their finances and to retain their independence. Cllr Manning’s request received cross-party support, however it fell on deaf ears.
This cut has been made against the wish’s of Borough residents, whom recently told the Council leadership in a survey the Council commissioned “that services for the elderly and vulnerable should be our highest priority for spending“.
In the meeting, Cllr Nigel Manning Said
“The current administration decided that due to the unpalatable decisions that needed to be taken following the COVID-19 pandemic that they would ask residents where the cuts should fall”.
“Overwhelmingly, 89% of residents said the vulnerable and the elderly should be a priority. Why then having asked residents where GBC should prioritise its spending that some of this desire has been ignored. Specifically Ash CAB, where over 85% of its advisors are volunteers, is having its £12,000 grant removed. This grant was specifically to fund an ILA, who’s job is to visit or to discuss, over the telephone, with the elderly or the vulnerable to help with their financial concerns. The very group of people that Guildford residents said that this council should prioritise their spending, not cuts”.
Ash Parish News spoke to Cllr Nigel Manning (a former trustee of Ash CAB) about these GBC budgetary changes. He said,
“In May 2019 the control moved to a Coalition consisting wholly of the Liberal Democrats (LD) and the Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV). This group promised when they were elected in May 2019 to listen to residents, however in less than two years actions have spoken louder than words.”
Borough raises council tax:
In this budgetary meeting, GBC also resolved to increase Council Tax by up to 2.83% this year. The Council Tax requirement for 2021-22 is set at £10,392,720. To see how the Council Tax charges for 2021-22 effect you, they can be found online, https://www.guildford.gov.uk/taxcharge.