More than £1m will be made available to council services following a public consultation which concluded earlier this month.
This transitional funding will be used to help these services move to sustainable funding models over the next two years. The seven services to benefit are:
Library service – £475,000
Public transport – £337,000
Theatres (the Corn Exchange) – £56,000
Children’s centres – £50,000
Neighbourhood Wardens – £50,000
Domestic Abuse Response Team – £25,000
Citizens Advice Bureau – £25,000
The proposal to allocate this transitional funding will be discussed and voted on at a Special Council meeting to be held next week (Thursday 24 March). The proposals in the recent consultation that haven’t received transitional funding will also be put to the Special Council with a recommendation they are taken.
Speaking about the decision Councillor Roger Croft, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said: “I’m very pleased to announce that we can offer a total of £1.4m of transitional funding to the services that residents have told us matter to them most. This funding was only allocated to us following the hard work of our local MPs and council officers, and we are proud to stand by our commitment of putting every penny of that into protecting the services our communities value the most and those which support the most vulnerable.
“We need to be clear however that this money is a lifeline which will enable these services to move to a more sustainable funding model. In particular, it will allow us to work with partners, community groups and parishes to secure these services in the long term.”
The library service attracted almost half (46%) of all the comments and the transitional funding will ensure that all but two branches remain open. Libraries will move to a self-service model which will allow seven branch libraries and one mobile library to remain open with only Wash Common and Theale libraries closing completely unless communities find the resources to take them on.
You can find details about the transitional funding, the consultation and proposals being put forward to the Council on our website.
A Special Council meeting to discuss and vote on these issues will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 24 March at the council offices in Market Street, Newbury. Capacity in the venue will be limited but the meeting will be streamed live online here.
Transitional Funding in West Berkshire