Melton residents face six per cent increase in Council Tax bills if County Hall budget is approved

Latest news EMN-180129-112549001
Latest news EMN-180129-112549001
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County Hall wants to charge Melton Council Tax payers almost six per cent more than last year for its share of the bill for the next year.

Updated budget plans have been announced by Leicestershire County Council which would generate an extra £2.7 million to support vulnerable families across the county, repair and maintain roads and to pay for increased inflation and national public sector pay rises for lower paid jobs.

The council’s four-year plan includes increasing next year’s core council tax by 2.99 per cent – one per cent more than the initial proposals – and a three per cent adult social care precept, making a total rise of 5.99 per cent.

The one per cent core council tax rise equates to an extra £1-a-month on the average bill.

Bringing forward the adult social care precept unlocks another £2.7 million and means work can get underway on creating around 30 new supported living places across the county for young adults with learning disabilities, in response to growing demand.

The budget also includes £50 million of savings; £41 million of growth – mainly to cover growing pressures in children’s social care; and £29 million capital spend on roads, schools, property investment and broadband, making it the biggest ever four-year programme.

Councillor Byron Rhodes, deputy council leader, said: “These are unprecedented financial times for councils, and even though we’ve earmarked £40 million more for our increasingly stretched children’s and adult social care services, balancing the books still requires extremely difficult decisions.

“After we published our budget proposals, as a result of rising inflation, the government announced it would allow councils to raise Council Tax by an extra one per cent.

“Asking residents to pay more is not ideal. But at a time when we face reducing much-valued services such as roads, libraries and support for vulnerable families, we have to seize opportunities to generate valuable income.”

The money generated from the core Council Tax rise would allow £1 million to spent on the Supporting Leicestershire Families initiative for two years, following uncertainty about government funding.

This project brings together support from councils and partners to help tackle problems including truancy and drugs.

There would also be £600,000 a year extra made available for road maintenance to fix about 6,000 pot holes, tackle flooding hot spots and replace damaged signs.

An allocation of £100,000 would also be set aside to extend support for community-managed libraries with £1 million paying for increased inflation and national public sector pay rises for employees on low incomes.

Councillor Rhodes added: “Although these changes bring more stability, in simple terms, demand continues to outstrip our budget.

“We’re a much leaner organisation, generating income from a variety of sources, but our biggest challenges may still lie ahead.

“Pressing the government for funding reform remains fundamental and we’re continuing to do everything in our power to secure a fair deal for Leicestershire tax payers.”

The final budget proposals for County Hall will be discussed by the cabinet on February 9 and agreed by the full council on February 21.

The portion of the bill for Leicestershire Police will increase by £1 a month to pay for extra officers and protect the jobs of others after residents voted overhwelmingly to back the proposal by Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach and it was ratified by the Police and Crime Panel this week.

Proposals have been unveiled by Melton Council to increase its share of Council Tax bills by 2.99 per cent.

Councillors will be asked on Wednesday to approve the increase, which would start from April.

The final overall Council Tax bill for Melton borough residents is due to be set on February 22.