Budget proposal protecting critical services outlined to Cornwall Council

Following consultation with residents and stakeholders across Cornwall, members were today briefed on the council’s proposed budget ahead of a full council decision next month.

A proposal to increase council tax by 3.99% to help protect Cornwall’s most vulnerable residents and ensure delivery of critical services, was outlined to members. This equates to 88 pence per week for a band B property, the most common in Cornwall.

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Recognising the impact of central Government cuts on families, the council proposes to increase the proportion of its overall budget that is spent on people of low incomes by 2% over the next four years.

The proposal, which will go to Cornwall Council’s cabinet on 13 February, and then to full council on 26 February, would see:

  • Services for the most vulnerable adults and children protected – with the adult budget increasing by 10% and the childrens budget increasing by 11% over four years;
  • £69m savings to be found in the next four years including £39m in 2019/2020;
  • Proposed council tax increase of 3.99%, which would be broken down into a 1.99% increase in council tax and a 2% precept for adult social care; and
  • To keep Cornwall’s economy growing, members were briefed on proposals for a significant capital investment: £30m for highways and £40m for the acquisition of accommodation to alleviate homelessness.

Cornwall Council’s Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for resources, Julian German said: “This year marks 10 years since the formation of Cornwall Council. We have had to find innovative ways of sustaining local services and make large savings in the face of deep Government funding cuts.

“Some councils across the country ducked these tough choices and now find themselves in very challenging financial circumstances.  In Cornwall we took the tough decisions that were needed early on and we will continue to do so.

“During the consultation people generally understood the pressure the council was under – by 2020 we will need to be self-sufficient financially as funding from central government reduces yet further.

“We either increase council tax or have to cut services and the consultation was clear there was no support to cut services. We appreciate the impact an increase in council tax could have on some people and have also ensured the budget includes assistance for those in hardship.”

Following the all-member briefing today the next step is for the proposed budget to go to overview and scrutiny committees next week, followed by cabinet and then full council.

Posted on 11 January 2019