Borough Council Budget, Roadworks at Heron Cross, Wraparound Childcare, Road Verge Maintenance in NUL
Written by Hitmix Local News on 6 February 2024
Multi-million pound investment in town centres; job-creating business schemes; new waste collection vehicles and additional grass cuts on urban roads are all part of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s spending plans for the coming year.
Cabinet is due to recommend its budget, including a maximum 8p a week council tax increase for 95 per cent of residents, to Full Council for approval in February.
With a legal requirement preventing councils from borrowing to run day-to-day services, the council has balanced its budget and remained debt-free while investing in communities, job creation and quality of life.
Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Rising costs and additional demands for services are putting pressure on most councils in the country, which is why I’m pleased that Newcastle can balance its books and invest in things that matter to residents.
Roadworks are to start next week at Heron Cross junction in Fenton. The carriageway investigations and road repairs will be carried out overnight from Tuesday 6 February, starting at 6pm and work will continue day and night until the road can be reopened. Access will be maintained, but only to houses. The impact will be seen on Blurton Road, Grove Road, Duke Street, and Heron Street, and many bus routes will be affected.
Staffordshire County Council has been allocated over £1.6 million in government funding to increase the quantity and quality of childcare before and after school across the whole county. Parents of primary-school aged children across Staffordshire will benefit from access to affordable childcare from 8am to 6pm during school term-time, thanks to a new wraparound childcare programme.
Wraparound care is before and after school childcare for primary school aged children, including breakfast clubs. It aims to support parents with tax-free childcare so they can work the hours they want to.
The county council will use this funding to map out and accommodate the needs of parents across Staffordshire.
It will also be used to test different ways to increase options, including working with local private providers – such as childminders – and partnering with schools.
Last month, cabinet members approved a proposal for Newcastle Borough Council to take on the cutting of road verges in urban areas within its boundaries.
The move came after residents lobbied that they wanted verges cut more often than at present with Staffordshire County Council.
The borough council is now set to take over the contract this spring, which means grass in areas with 40mph speed limits will go from being cut at least six times a year to eight.
The Councils current fleet of ride-on mowers is scheduled to be replaced in the next 12 months. However, the borough council will need to buy two additional ride-on mowers to fulfil the new grass cutting contract. A total of £162,000 will be invested in the replacement mowers, which will be supported by the agreed service fee paid by Staffordshire County Council.