Coun­cil tax in 5pc hike to help look after el­derly

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

COUN­CIL tax is set to rise by nearly FIVE per cent to cover the ris­ing costs of look­ing after the el­derly.

Cheshire East Coun­cil orig­i­nally pro­posed a 3.99pc hike last au­tumn.

But Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has since asked coun­cils to add a fur­ther 1pc to cover the bal­loon­ing adult so­cial care bill.

It means res­i­dents in Mac­cles­field liv­ing in a Band D prop­erty will have to pay £1,324.92 per year – £60 more and the equiv­a­lent to an ex­tra £1.21 per week.

On top of this the pre­cepts for Cheshire Fire Ser­vice and Cheshire Po­lice will also be in­creas­ing by 1.9pc and 2pc re­spec­tively.

Cheshire East Coun­cil is des­per­ately try­ing to plug a £100m bud­get black hole be­tween now and 2020.

Coun­cil chiefs say three per cent of the new coun­cil tax bill will go on tack­ling the de­mand on ser­vice from our age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Peter Groves, cabi­net mem­ber for fi­nance, said: “We will con­tinue to cre­ate the right con­di­tions for eco­nomic growth and pros­per­ity for all, in­vest­ing in peo­ple, so­cial care and ed­u­ca­tion.

“The costs as­so­ci­ated with main­tain­ing this level of qual­ity in our ser­vices and our en­vi­ron­ment, are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly chal­leng­ing as national aus­ter­ity mea­sures con­tinue to put pres­sure on lo­cal gov­ern­ment, and as the costs of the health sys­tem con­tinue to put all public ser­vices un­der se­vere fi­nan­cial pres­sure.”

The coun­cil’s an­nual cor­po­rate plan will go in front of the cabi­net on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 7, ahead of a meet­ing of full coun­cil on Fe­bru­ary 23.

Coun­cil leader Rachel Bai­ley said while cuts will im­pact all of its 500 lo­cal ser­vices there is a cap­i­tal pro­gramme of £300m to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture, ed­u­ca­tion and re­gen­er­a­tion of towns and vil­lages.

She said: “We will con­tinue to pro­vide the right en­vi­ron­ment for our pop­u­la­tion to de­velop their skills, which will help them to se­cure mean­ing­ful long-term em­ploy­ment as well as sup­port­ing our lo­cal busi­nesses. In ad­di­tion, we will main­tain a fo­cus on the ‘qual­ity of place’ in the bor­ough, which will en­able our econ­omy to grow and help our lo­cal res­i­dents to ac­cess em­ploy­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and leisure op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Fur­ther­more, we will also en­sure that the coun­try­side and open spa­ces are man­aged pru­dently and pro­vide good qual­ity front­line ser­vices, such as high­ways, waste col­lec­tion and street cleans­ing, to en­sure that the qual­ity of the en­vi­ron­ment in the bor­ough is main­tained.”

Coun­cil leader Rachel Bai­ley has been asked to add 1pc to the in­crease to cover the bal­loon­ing adult so­cial care bill

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