B&NES Council’s Cabinet has set out its proposal to keep Council Tax as low as possible, as it focuses on increased efficiency to protect frontline services and balance the Council’s budget to achieve £49 million of savings by 2020.
The proposal comes as the Council faces the biggest financial squeeze in its history – with continued reductions in Government funding and complex challenges such as the rapid growth in the number of vulnerable and older people needing social care support.
The Cabinet is proposing a general Council Tax increase of 1.5% to enable the authority to deliver a balanced budget and protect the main front-line services residents receive from the Council, as well as help meet the rising cost of caring for an aging population.
This is in addition to the 2% social care precept, which is ring-fenced to support Adult Social Care services.
This equates to a total increase of £3.62p a month for a Band D property.
Councillor Charles Gerrish (Conservative, Keynsham North), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency said: “We believe that the Council Tax rise we are proposing is likely to be among the lowest in the region – something which has only been achieved by undertaking a thorough root-and-branch review of the Council’s finances.
“We remain committed to keeping the level of Council Tax as low as we can whilst still protecting front-line services as far as possible. The vast majority of the savings we need to make are being achieved through increased efficiency, service innovation and generating new income through investments.”
The proposed budget will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 1st February. The Council’s final budget will then be considered by Councillors at a Full Council meeting on Tuesday 14th February.