Inflation-busting council tax hike agreed in Warwickshire - The Stratford Observer

Inflation-busting council tax hike agreed in Warwickshire

Stratford Editorial 19th Feb, 2020   0

HOUSEHOLDS are to be hit by another inflation-busting council tax rise.

Taxpayers will see a 3.99 per cent increase in their bills after the Conservative-controlled Warwickshire County Council budget was given the green light on Tuesday. It is the equivalent of £1.10 a week for a Band D property.

It follows the announcement of an over-inflation hike by the police and a proposed one by Stratford District Council in their respective proportions of the bill.

The county council takes the lion’s share of the total bill at around 80 per cent. Warwickshire Police account for just over ten per cent and this year is calling for a rise of nearly 4.4 per cent – an extra £10 on average per Band D household.

Conservative-controlled Stratford District Council is proposing a 3.6 per cent rise – £5 a year on a Band D property. The authority is set to confirm its budget on Monday.

The county Tories say this year’s budget aims to provide value for money while also ensuring the safety of residents.

But there are also expected to be redundancies within the council as the authority looks to save money. When asked how many staff could lose their jobs a spokesman declined to comment.

Half of the proposed hike will be ring fenced to pay for adult social care.

The budget also includes spending more than £8million in children’s social care – with nearly £4million to reduce demand for child social services and prepare youngsters for school.

Nearly £2million will help disabled children access community support, and the same amount will be spent on home to school transport.

Demand on services for elderly and vulnerable people will see £14million targeted to cope with winter pressures and integrating health and social care.

The budget also includes spending £7million supporting homelessness projects and initiatives for at-risk vulnerable people due to drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, mental health and male suicide.

A climate change fund will receive £4million and the same amount will be given to a venture to deliver commercial investment for the county.

A further £5million will also be pumped into improving the economy, including investing in 5G mobile technology.

A Tory spokesperson said: “We will invest our resources to ensure Warwickshire’s communities and individuals are supported to be safe, healthy and independent and Warwickshire’s economy is vibrant and supported by the right jobs, training, skills and infrastructure.

“We will redouble our efforts to bring inward investment and private and public sector businesses into the county for the benefit of employment and prosperity of our residents and the future of their children.”

Labour claims despite the rise in tax the budget was ‘full of cuts’ amounting to more than £6million and also paved the way for more in future, which could total £33million over the next five years.

Liberal Democrats said more should have been invested into climate change, which the Green Party agreed, adding more needed to be done to cut down on the number of cars on the roads.


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