Plans to raise council tax for Leicestershire

Plans to increase the county council’s share of the council tax bill for Melton residents by three per cent have been confirmed this week.

By Nick Rennie
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 9:14 am
Leicestershire County Council headquarters at Glenfield EMN-211215-115338001
Leicestershire County Council headquarters at Glenfield EMN-211215-115338001

County Hall says it needs the extra revenue to help it cope with an increasingly strained budget.

To help it balance the books, the council is proposing to increase its share of council tax bills by three per cent from April - a two per cent rise in the basic levy and one per cent ring-fenced to contribute towards adult social care.

Although austerity may have ended, funding available to the council is not keeping up with the level of service growth.

That, coupled with the continued impact of the Covid pandemic, has led to additional costs, and means the authority is left in an extremely challenging financial position.

The council’s medium-term financial strategy (MTFS) sets out the need to save £100 million by 2025/26 with more than £46 million of that sum yet to be identified.

Councillor Lee Breckon, the council’s lead member for resources, said: “The numbers we are looking at are stark and worrying.

“While we can balance our budget next year, after that it becomes increasingly challenging. The demand for social care for our vulnerable residents grows year after year and the cost of providing that care has increased.”

The county council’s budget proposals include an extra £11million to be spent on maintaining and improving Leicestershire’s roads as well as its commitment to help plant 700,000 trees, one for every resident, over the next 10 years.

The council’s cabinet approved a two-month public consultation on its MTFS when it met on Tuesday.

The proposals will also be debated by councillors before being voted on by full council in February, after the views of the public, businesses and councillors have been discussed.

County Hall’s share of council tax is by far the biggest portion.

Melton Borough Council has not yet indicated if its share will be increased from April.