WYRE Forest District Council's cabinet has discussed introducing an hour's free parking scheme in three car parks as part of its budget proposals.

The council is also planning to raise its proportion of council tax, introduce more accessible play equipment, recruit an additional civil enforcement officer and increase spending on litter picking.

At its meeting on Wednesday, December 20, the cabinet agreed on proposals it is considering for its Medium Term Financial Strategy.

One of the proposals would be to introduce free one-hour parking at one car park in each of the three towns from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

The cabinet is also proposing increasing the district council’s proportion of the council tax bill by three per cent.

This would be an increase of £7.08 in 2024 for Band D households, less than 14p per week. The council says most properties in the district fall into Band B or C and will pay less than that.

Currently, the council is spending more on services than it receives in income.

In 2022-23 it had to use £373,000 of reserves to fund services. In 2024-25 it is expected to have to use £395,000 of reserves to balance the budget. Based on current levels of expenditure it is expected the council will have used all its reserves in 2027.

The cabinet now wants the public’s view on its plans before final budget proposals are drawn up. This is to make sure any decision to increase expenditure helps to meet council priorities and is supported by residents and businesses.

A short survey to gather feedback on the cabinet’s key proposals is now live on the council’s website. Residents can visit www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/budget to take part.

The survey closes at 5pm on Thursday, January 18 2024.

Full details of the proposals, including the costings, can be found in the Medium Term Financial Strategy report in the Cabinet agenda by visiting https://forms.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/council/docs/doc59085_20231220_cabinet_agenda.pdf

The final proposals will go to Full Council at the annual budget-setting meeting in February.