Wageningen Executive Board sets draft budget for 2020-2023

Provisions will not be affected by multi-million-Euro spending diversion

 

The municipality executive board have set the draft programme budget for 2020-2023 and submitted it to the municipal council. The budget is based on the 2019 financial policy framework and the Meicirculaire 2018 (2018 financial policy document on municipal subsidy budgets). In order to ensure that the budget will have a favourable image in the next few years, the Executive Board was forced to make certain choices. To this end, the Executive Board was guided by its goals from the coalition agreement; "quality of life" is therefore still paramount.
 

A social, green and sustainable city

Finance alderman, Dennis Gudden: “Just like all the other municipalities, we have had to make some tough decisions, because the amount of money that we receive from the national government is less than is actually required. In addition to this, we have chosen to remain true to the social, green and sustainable city that we are, to maintain our basic facilities and to take those measures that will have the least impact on our city. In doing this, we aim to spend the available funds differently and more effectively. This will allow us to maintain a healthy financial situation in the long term".
 

A different spending pattern

The Executive Board believes that both innovation and the clever use of resources and financial resources are essential. Forced by such measures as government cuts, the Executive Board adopted a different approach several years ago, which is not only cheaper but has also resulted in a better level of care. The Executive Board has proposed that they should take this same approach in other areas. For example, the Board has opted to change the way in which they organise and finance road maintenance and to reduce the municipal organisation’s personnel costs by hiring fewer temporary staff members (who cost more). In the social domain, the Executive Board aims to continue on the same path. This has resulted in savings in the past. By continuing to invest in preventing the need for extensive support and care, the Executive Board aims to ensure that costs are actually reduced in the long term.
 

Quality of life

The Executive Board is convinced that improving the residents’ quality of life and achieving healthy sustainable finances can go hand in hand. That is why they have chosen not to cut back on social and cultural amenities, schemes and subsidies; these form the heart of Wageningen. The Executive Board will allow the Bblthk and Junushoff to continue as they are and will leave the subsidies for schools, Nature and Environmental Education and the national commemoration and celebration on 4 and 5 May untouched. Much like the green goals, the climate policy and the promotion of cycling as a means of transport. In an effort to save these amenities and subsidies, the Executive Board has proposed that a number of goals be implemented more slowly.
 

The broadest shoulders

In order to minimise the impact on the city’s activities and the municipality’s most vulnerable residents, the Executive Board also aims to call on other residents to make a contribution; this will be achieved by increasing the property tax, which is an approach that is based on the principle that the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden. The Executive Board believes that solidarity is one of the most important fundamental principles of the city. This can be offset by preserving the range of cultural activities and healthcare services that is available and accessible to everyone.
 

Municipal council debate

The round-table discussion on the draft programme budget will be held on 29 October while an ‘opinion discussion’ will be held on either 11 or 12 November. The municipal council will make a final decision about the budget during its meeting on 25 or 26 November.
 

Should you like to read more on this topic, the draft programme budget can be found on www.wageningen.nl and can be viewed in the Bblthk from 11 October onwards.