I hope this message finds you safe and well. The last twelve months have been a year like no other. The tragedy of the pandemic has had a profound impact on all of us, and I want to pay tribute to all the council staff and key workers who have once again shown themselves to be indispensable.
Responding to the pandemic is a priority in the Council’s budget for the coming year. We know that many families have faced real hardship, which is why we are increasing funding for food banks, support to help residents to get online, and are creating work placements paid at the Real Living Wage.
Even after a funding gap of £200 million over the last decade, the changes we have now made to the Council put us in a better position to deal with the financial challenges that we face. As a result this year we can commit some additional funding to services that will benefit the whole community and support the economy, including:
- More money for four extra Streetpride teams, libraries, supporting more youth work, and reducing telephone waiting times
- Extending free Saturday car parking to all Council-run car parks in the town centre, and securing additional government investment
- £5.8 million of capital investment to accelerate flood defence schemes in areas affected by the devastating floods in 2019
- £4 million to improve town and village centres across the borough
For the second year running we’ve also been able to keep the council tax rise below those expected in most of the rest of the country.
We all hope that the coming months bring better times and a return to some sort of normality. Until then, please do stay safe.
Councillor Chris Read
Leader of Rotherham Borough Council
For the latest information on Covid-19 in Rotherham, including support available to residents and businesses and impact on Council services, visit our website www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus