County council raises its share of Council Tax by average of £44 a year - The Rugby Observer

County council raises its share of Council Tax by average of £44 a year

Rugby Editorial 9th Feb, 2021   0

RESIDENTS across Warwickshire will have to pay £44 more a year in council tax for an average Band D property, after Warwickshire County Council (WCC) approved its budget for 2021/22.

Of the 2.99 per cent increase, one per cent will be ring-fenced for adult social care, with the remaining 1.99 per cent to cover all other services.

The annual budget is the first of a five-year financial strategy to align resources to the authority’s council plan and Covid-19 recovery plan.

The approved budget includes £136million of permanent investments over the next five years, including £9.1million in children’s social care services, £8.2million to protect elderly citizens and vulnerable adults, and £3.8million to support children and young people with disabilities for next year alone.

However the authority has also had to make across-the-board cuts of some £47million.

The Conservative leader of Warwickshire County Council, Coun Izzi Seccombe, said: “We have had to make difficult decisions and choices in determining the budget for 2021/22 and the first year of a five-year rolling medium term financial strategy.

“The budget is the basis of a new and more hopeful future. It invests in vulnerable people, businesses, and a green recovery, and continues to support our vision to make Warwickshire the very best it can be sustainable for now and for future generations.”

Warwickshire Labour Group leader Coun Helen Adkins said: “It cannot be fair that once again Warwickshire has to make further savings of almost £50million over the next five years as a result of Government’s broken promise to invest in local government and a continuation of the clear policy of transferring the burden of funding local services onto council taxpayers.”

Liberal Democrat Councillor Clive Rickhards said the Conservatives had got their priorities wrong.

He said: “Despite them saying theirs was a budget for the vulnerable, they’ve still made £47m in cuts, and in this they haven’t been helped by their own Government, which only gave them a one year grant settlement, which makes planning difficult and pushes more of the burden for social care onto local authorities.”

Green Party Councillor Jonathan Chilvers said: “This budget is held in the shadow of almost 1,000 Warwickshire residents dying from Covid in the last year and impacted on so many peoples jobs, mental health and way of working.

“I think all the parties’ budgets focused on trying to support the recovery in Warwickshire, although once again the Conservative central government is forcing councils to both put up Council Tax and make cuts to residents’ services.”

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