County Council agrees to rise in tax to fund services - The Evesham Observer

County Council agrees to rise in tax to fund services

Rob George 23rd Feb, 2023   0

A NEAR five per cent rise in Worcestershire County Council’s share of the Council Tax has been rubber-stamped by Conservative county councillors.

The £935million budget for the year ahead will fund delivery of a wide range of essential services including services to keep the most vulnerable people in the county safe.

As part of the budget, the council will be putting in place an uplift to its Council Tax.

The 2.94 per cent rise in Council Tax will help to fund the increased costs of delivering improvements for residents and businesses while an additional two per cent uplift in the rate for the Adult Social Care levy will support vulnerable adults.

Major improvements for Worcestershire residents which includes improving roads, pavements and street lighting, in addition to funding a brand-new school in Worcester to help with school places.

A Labour and Liberal Democrat bid to raise the Council Tax to 2.99 and sell surplus council-owned land to raise £10million, was rejected.

County Hall will spend £268million over the next 12 months to ensure residents who need Adult Social Care support will continue to receive it.

A total of £146million has been allocated to ensure the County Council can continue to improve the lives of children and young people across the county.

£91million is being invested into supporting people to live independently for longer, through the dedicated work of the county’s Public Health and Communities teams.

The budget also includes investment to maintain bus services with £3.5million invested on top of the £1.5million commitment made this year.

An additional £500,000 to enable minor highway works to be actioned more quickly such as the pruning of trees and the replacement of damaged street furniture and signs.

Coun Simon Geraghty, leader of the council said: “This year will be a tough one for many people across the county.

“The council is facing similar challenges too, from both the impact of inflation on costs of materials and services to increasing demand for services, all of which adds significantly to the pressure on our budget.

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

“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,” he added.

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