Tackling homelessness is priority for district - The Stratford Observer

Tackling homelessness is priority for district

TACKLING homelessness in Stratford is a top priority for residents.

Stratford District Council recently undertook a survey ahead of setting its budget for the coming year. Just over 1,000 questionnaires were sent out, and just under half were returned.

Helping those without a roof over their head was the top priority for residents (69 per cent), followed by support for the community transport service UBUS (67 per cent), and the compulsory purchase of Wellesbourne Airfield (61 per cent).

Residents also said they wanted to see more CCTV and funding to cut crime, and less spent on promoting tourism.

And of the 506 responses, nine out of ten said they thought the authority offered value for money with a council tax of £137.07 for a Band D property. The district council’s portion of the entire bill is around eight per cent.

Sixty-three per cent of residents also agreed it was important for the council to maintain current levels of service, even if it meant increasing the authority’s share of council tax by more than £5 a year.

And around two thirds felt the quality of council services was good overall.

Council leader Tony Jefferson said: “The results make interesting reading and support many of our initiatives.

“We are particularly pleased that 90 per cent of residents think that we offer value for money.

“We are investing in a new and enhanced CCTV system and in addition are implementing a series of measures for homelessness prevention, UBUS and the potential for the compulsory purchase of Wellesbourne airfield have our full support.

“For a number of years we have faced continued financial pressures together with reducing funding allocations from central government and it’s good to see that residents understand and are aware of the cuts to public service funding and have an appreciation of the balancing act that councils have to do.”

Over the past few years, all councils have seen cuts in their financial support from central government.

Since 2010, SDC has seen its grant from central government cut from £3.9million in 2013 to zero.

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