Coun­cil Tax Pres­sure to bal­ance bud­get sees in­crease in county

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By LEIGH BOOBYER

RES­I­DENTS are set to pay around £61 a year ex­tra in coun­cil tax as county coun­cil bosses try to man­age their bud­get.

Glouces­ter­shire County Coun­cil has re­vealed it has to save a nearly £21mil­lion in 2019/20, and this year’s bud­get lays out what it needs as a share of the coun­cil tax bill.

On­go­ing pres­sures on its chil­dren’s ser­vices de­part­ment, such as out-of­county place­ments and re­tain­ing so­cial work­ers, has meant that the price of keep­ing young chil­dren safe will cost £84mil­lion next year, up from £73mil­lion this year.

The author­ity needs £295mil­lion from coun­cil tax pay­ers for its bud­get to bal­ance.

Coun­cil tax is now set to go up for res­i­dents, af­ter coun­cil­lors voted for the pro­pos­als at a crunch bud­get meet­ing by a ma­jor­ity of 28, with 18 ab­sten­tions.

The coun­cil tax cost will go up by 4.99 per cent, which in­cluded a 2 per cent in­crease in the adult so­cial care pre­cept.

The ma­jor­ity of Band A res­i­dents will see their bills go up by £40.92 per year, £47.76 for Band B, £54.6 for Band C, and £61 for Band D.

The ma­jor­ity of house­holds in Glouces­ter­shire are in Bands A, B and C, ac­cord­ing to the county coun­cil’s medium term fi­nan­cial strat­egy.

The county coun­cil will pump £11mil­lion of the ex­tra fund­ing into chil­dren’s ser­vices, and a fur­ther £3mil­lion will go to­wards the bud­get for adult so­cial care.

The bud­get for adult so­cial care will go up by £3mil­lion to £136mil­lion as of April 2019.

The draft 2019/20 bud­get also sets out a range of cap­i­tal in­vest­ments such as £44mil­lion for schools, £57mil­lion to­wards high­ways and £7mil­lion for pot­holes.

Res­i­dents in Glouces­ter, Cheltenham and Cirences­ter who pay to park out- side their homes will be charged more as of April 1.

Res­i­den­tial park­ing per­mits could rise to £60 for first per­mits and £120 for the cost of a sec­ond car.

So res­i­dents across the county would pay £10 more for one per­mit and £20 more for two.

The county coun­cil will also in­crease the amount driv­ers pay to park in all on-street park­ing zones in Glouces­ter, Cheltenham and Cirences­ter.

Park­ing in the cen­tre of Cheltenham for ex­am­ple would cost £3.40 for two hours, while park­ing in cen­tral Glouces­ter would cost £3 for the same pe­riod of time.

The main rea­son the county coun­cil plan to charge driv­ers more to park is to man­age the high de­mand of park­ing in Cheltenham and Glouces­ter.

The charge of park­ing on-street in Cirences­ter will rise to £1.30, from £1.

Busi­ness per­mits will in­crease to £300 from £250, and charge busi­nesses £50 more to park their car in Im­pe­rial Square in Cheltenham.

Un­der the pro­pos­als, the county coun­cil will charge driv­ers park­ing in Cheltenham’s Arle Court Park and Ride but not us­ing the bus ser­vice £6 all day, and £3 af­ter 1pm.

The park­ing charge to Arle Court Park and Ride comes as em­ploy­ees in nearby busi­nesses such as GCHQ and the BMW garage have been re­port­edly us­ing the car park to park for free. And the same mea­sure will be in­tro­duced to Glouces­ter’s Water­wells Park and Ride but £2 all day, and £1 af­ter 1pm.

» For more see glouces­ter­shire­live. co.uk

Res­i­dents are set to pay around £61 a year ex­tra in coun­cil tax

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