County cabinet chiefs propose 4.94 per cent Council Tax rise - The Evesham Observer

County cabinet chiefs propose 4.94 per cent Council Tax rise

Evesham Editorial 5th Jan, 2023   0

A NEAR five per cent rise in Worcestershire County Council’s share of the council tax has been tabled as Conservative chiefs revealed the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

In addition to a proposed 2.94 per cent rise in its share of the monthly levy, a further two per cent increase is being suggested to fund the rising costs of adult social care across Worcestershire.

Members of the Conservative cabinet gave the green light to a draft net budget of £400million going forward for consultation and further consideration by councillors.

The proposed budget for 2023/24 will be discussed again at cabinet in early February before being considered by the whole council on February 16.

Within the budget is a proposed spending programme of some £413million to ensure the council can continue its list of improvements across the county and deliver the priorities previously agreed such as the improvements to the A38 in Bromsgrove.

An additional £16.4million will be ploughed into Adult Social Care, £10.1million into Children’s Services and a cash pot of £3.5million has been allocated to support public transport, including efforts to maintain local bus services.

Council leader, Coun Simon Geraghty said he recognised the year ahead would be a tough one for county residents but added the council was facing similar challenges.

“With more vulnerable people needing our support than ever before, and with the cost of this care increasing significantly, our budget for next year needs to reflect this added pressure,” he said.

“Government is providing much-needed additional funding, and we have a programme of further efficiencies and reform, but the rising costs and demand on our key services have meant we need to propose a rise in council tax for next year to be able to continue to fund essential services.

“Our council tax is one of the lowest of any County Council in the country and with most councils predicted to increase their council tax due to similar pressures, we will remain one of the lowest.

“The additional funding from this proposed increase will mean we can continue to deliver vital children and adult social care to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

“It will also enable us to maintain our commitments to invest in the priorities of residents. These include better roads and pavements, tackling congestion and improving public transport alongside investments in the economy, environment and extra school places.”


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