Two per cent coun­cil tax rise likely for 2015/16

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

PEO­PLE might be fac­ing a two per cent in­crease in coun­cil tax to pay to­wards a £25mil­lion in­vest­ment in re­pair­ing roads and safe­fuard­ing for chil­dren.

Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil’s cab­i­net looked at the bud­get on Mon­day, rec­om­mend­ing spend­ing £25m on con­tin­u­ing to re­store the county’s roads and in­creased spend­ing on pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren.

To pay for this the cab­i­net rec­om­mended a coun­cil tax in­crease of 1.99 per cent.

The pro­pos­als are for the 2015/16 bud­get, fol­low­ing the news there will be a £11.2m re­duc­tion in gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

The coun­cil said it al­ready ex­pected an in­creas­ing de­mand on ser­vices, of about £20m mainly re­lat­ing to chil­dren’s ser­vices and pro­vid­ing ser­vices to el­derly adults.

The coun­cil has to man­age with a bud­get gap of more than £31m for next year.

Money is also ear­marked for chil­dren’s ser­vices, after it was marked for im­prove­ment in its lat­est Of­sted re­port. £1.1m will be put to­wards mak­ing changes.

Leader Martin Tett said: “I need to be clear that this is not ‘new money’ but what we have done is lis­ten to feed­back from the bud­get con­sul­ta­tion, where peo­ple said that the state of the county’s roads con­tin­ues to be one of their top con­cerns.”

The draft bud­get will now go to con­sul­ta­tion with busi­nesses.

It will be scru­ti­nised by the in­de­pen­dent fi­nance, per­for­mance and re­sources se­lect com­mit­tee be­fore the fi­nal bud­get is voted on by the full county coun­cil on Fe­bru­ary 12.

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