Cheshire East approves maximum council tax increase
Cheshire East Council has voted to approve its budget plan for 2018-19 at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, 22nd February.
As a result Council Tax will increase by 5.99 per cent in the next financial year, the maximum increase a Council is allowed to make without holding a local referendum.
This will add £1.39 per week to the average household Council Tax bill and a Band D property bill will rise from £1,324.92 to £1,404.28 – representing an increase of £1.53 per week.
The council also voted to allocate an additional £2m for highways from capital reserves, in response to concerns over the condition of some of the borough’s roads, and a further £150,000 for reactive repairs (from the revenue budget).
Additionally, £2m has been earmarked from the New Homes Bonus scheme to be used in our communities, via a method under consideration.
The Council says the budget will deliver balanced finances in 2018-19, with net revenue spending of £268.8m and total capital investment of £326.1m identified over the next three years. A total of £197m is estimated to be spent over the next three years on maintaining and improving our highways network.
The budget-setting meeting of council took place against a challenging national context of an overall public sector deficit, which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils, and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.
For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.
Jan Willis, Cheshire East Council’s interim executive director of corporate services, said: “These financial reports and budget outline how the council has continued to build on the solid achievements of recent years and continues to maintain robust financial health.
“The year ahead presents a number of challenges for all UK local authorities, as increasing demand in care services for children and adults, plus other pressures, are compounded by falls in government funding – a funding reduction totalling £14.8m this year for Cheshire East and set to fall by a further £11.9m in 2018/19.
“In Cheshire East, the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by four per cent a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17 per cent in the last year, in line with other councils.
“The council’s net expenditure on adult social care services was almost £100m in 2016/17, which is three-times the spending on any other service area. This council will continue to prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges. However, this means other services will need to deliver savings.”
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