Bid to balance books sees council tax hike
COUNCIL tax is set to rise by nearly four per cent as Cheshire East seeks to balance its books.
The authority announced the proposal to increase the tax by 3.99pc today in a report which outlines draft plans for the council’s budget next year.
The pre-budget report states how the council will save £100m to balance the books over the next three years and survive cuts in government funding.
Cheshire East is facing significant reductions in funding from central government whilst pressure on social care services increases.
The council proposes to increase taxes and change how services are run to deal with this. The overall aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient, by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant from £40m in 2015/16 to nil by 2020.
Cheshire East has launched a public consultation on the report - inviting feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, parish councils and other stakeholders.
Coun Peter Groves, cabinet member for finance and assets, said: “Cheshire East is a highperforming authority and a great place to live, work, do business and visit. Our residents enjoy good living standards and, when they need help from the Council, we are consistently recognised as providing excellent services.
“However, setting out our financial plans for the next three years is particularly challenging in the UK-wide context of big reductions in government grants to councils and rising demand for vital services such as social care.
“The consultation document provides a strong set of initial proposals that balance the council’s medium-term finances. It is also a real opportunity for interested parties to engage in the budget-setting process.
“Cheshire East puts its residents first. I value the opinions of local residents, businesses and organisations and I would encourage people to give their views via the consultation.
“New ideas that could help the council achieve its outcomes, are always welcome, so I would encourage people to respond to the consultation.”
The public consultation on the pre-budget report for 2017 – 2020 runs until January 10. Go to www. cheshireeast.gov.uk.
The responses will be analysed before budgetsetting decisions are taken by a meeting of full council in February 2017.
Cllr Peter Groves