Latest News from Mayor Peter Taylor

Front-line services and the environment at the heart of budget

1 Feb 2023

Mayor Peter Taylor and Watford‘s Liberal Democrat councillors have prioritised protecting local services and helping people through the cost of living emergency in this year’s ‘council budget.

Budget highlights include:

  • Investing in community services such as street cleaning, local parks and leisure centres. Key plans include improved sport facilities at Woodside Playing Fields and investment in Watford Business Park.
  • Helping with the cost of living emergency: Funding for Citizens Advice Watford who advise people struggling to pay bills, continued work to tackle rough sleeping, and Council tax reductions for low income households.
  • Making Watford a more sustainable town by planting more trees, restoring the River Colne and investing in more electric vehicle charging points.

Conservatives slash council funding

Just 14p in every pound of council tax paid by residents goes to Watford Council, with the rest going to Hertfordshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner. Watford Council’s share of council tax is set to go up by 3%, with the Conservative-run county council increasing their share by 5% and the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner increasing his charge by 6.7%.

Following the council meeting where the budget was decided, Mayor Peter Taylor said:

‘This is a difficult time for many families, with prices soaring. My priority has been to protect really important local services and make sure that residents get excellent value for money.

‘Over the last 10 years, Watford Council’s funding from central government has been cut by over 50% in real terms.

But we have increased our income from commercial property rent and invested in front line services. It is so important that we have great parks, a thriving town centre and a high quality local environment.

‘We are responding to this difficult period by protecting local services and helping people through the cost of living emergency.’

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