Warwickshire households face another inflation-busting council tax rise - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire households face another inflation-busting council tax rise

Leamington Editorial 13th Feb, 2020 Updated: 17th Feb, 2020   0

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

Taxpayers will see a 3.99 per cent increase in their bills if the Conservative-controlled Warwickshire County Council budget is given the green light on Tuesday (February 18). It is the equivalent of £1.10 a week for a Band D property.

The Tories say the 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 until after the meeting.

Half of the proposed 3.99 per cent 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 ulnerable 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 spokesman said: “Given current economic uncertainties remain we will continue to look for efficiencies to drive better value for money for our taxpayers.

“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.”

The Liberal Democrats said more needed to be invested into climate change.

Group leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse said: “On climate change they need to step up and do more by working and investing with our communities. There has to be a coordinated approach getting in line with action programmes and I hope they do not waste this opportunity by not making the bold moves that are now needed .

“We also desperately need to see long term investment to ensure children’s services are sustainable and child poverty reducing.”

“We will be also calling on the Conservative leader and Warwickshire MPs to lobby government for fairer funding for local councils and not to just keep asking local taxpayers to keep footing the bill with ever increasing council tax.”

The county council takes the lion’s share of the total council tax bill at around 80 per cent. Warwickshire Police account for just over ten per cent, and the district, borough and parish councils the remainder.

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