Council tax is set to go up 4.99 per-cent next year under proposals being put forward by Cheshire East Council.
This would add up to £1 per week to the average household Council Tax bill.
Importantly, three per cent of the proposed tax rise will boost services for the vulnerable elderly.
It follows a similar 4.99 per cent increase in 2017 and a 3.75 per cent increase in 2016, after council tax was frozen for five years.
Its Pre-Budget Consultation 2018-21 sets out initial proposals for how the council could target resources more effectively and save money – while achieving a balanced budget.
It includes a proposal to earmark £2m from the New Homes Bonus scheme which communities would decide how to spend, according to their own priorities.Cheshire East will now invite feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, staff, town and parish councils and other stakeholders to inform decisions. This consultation will be an ongoing process over the next three years.
The consultation takes place against a challenging national background of an overall public sector deficit – which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils – and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.
For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.
The council proposes to meet this financial challenge via a mix of tax increases and changing our service offer. The 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 in 2020.
Once again, tough choices will have to be made to ensure Cheshire East can target services to people who need them most. Locally funding services puts control back with local people but also comes with the responsibility to fund them in a sustainable way.
To view the council’s pre-budget consultation report, visit the council’s website at: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk
Alternatively, pick up a copy from your local council customer service point or library.
The deadline for comments to be included in the consultation report is January 12, 2018, although comments submitted after that date will still inform the ongoing consultation.