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Cabinet agree budget proposals for 2020/21

A budget to deliver essential services that work for every resident of Cornwall has been approved by the Cabinet at Lys Kernow today.

The proposal will now go before Full Council for final approval on Tuesday, February 25.

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Residents who took part in the recent consultation process were able to tell us what issues really matter to them. These included affordable decent housing, good schools and safeguarding for our children, better job prospects and cost of living, better wages, decent services for the vulnerable and elderly, climate emergency, public transport and improvements in road and pavement repairs.

However, we also listened to people’s concerns over rising bills, and are doing all we can to keep Cornwall’s council tax rates well below the England average and one of the lowest in the south west, despite ever-growing pressures on our finances.

The budget proposal for 2020/21 will see Cornwall Council:

  • creating better paid jobs for local people, putting £10 million into the pockets of the lowest paid as the first South West council to pay the real Living Wage (£9 an hour compared to £7.70 national minimum wage).
  • continuing to lead the fight against the climate emergency, with £20 million set aside for our climate action plan, including continuing to plant the forest for Cornwall, retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency, changing planning processes to ensure the climate is at the heart of decisions made, and improving footpaths and cycleways to reduce short car journeys.
  • improving care for vulnerable older people, investing an extra £20 million a year in adult social care next year - on top of the £7 million a year uplift we have already delivered.
  • ensuring our children get the best start in life, increasing funding for children schools and families in Cornwall by a further 6%, and putting £13m of capital to improve school buildings.
  • Building more good quality homes for local people, with an extra 1,000 homes directly through the council.
  • Improving 4,500 miles of rural road, with an extra £10 million each year for road repairs for 3 years.
  • Investing in a new waste service to encourage every resident to cut down on their plastic and recycle more.

The proposals would mean council tax would rise by 1.99 per cent, alongside the government's two per cent increase ringfenced for adult social care services.

Council deputy leader Adam Paynter, who is responsible for resources and finances, said: “This council works for you and every other resident of Cornwall.

“Our 5,500 staff provide homes, educate the young, maintain your parks, keep your streets clean, help you stay fit and healthy, collect and recycle your waste, care for you and your loved ones and we give you a helping hand when you need it.

“They are one of Cornwall’s largest workforces - and they work for you.

“Over the last ten years, we have changed the way we work to make over £380 million of savings, while protecting the services that people have told us are most important.

“We are now continuing to do just that, while also leading the fight to tackle the growing climate emergency.  I am pleased that our sound financial management, combined with an ongoing drive for value for money, means we can continue to invest in the services that matter most to you, while keeping council tax down as much as we can.”

Also agreed at today’s meeting were plans to create a new £4 million fund to help shape town centres in the face of changing shopping habits and new lifestyle and working patterns.

The new funding will not be available to those towns who have already secured Government funding, which has already seen Penzance, Truro, St Ives and Camborne approved for up to £25 million worth of schemes.

The budget will now be presented to full council for approval when it next meets at Lys Kernow on Tuesday, February 25 at 10.30am.  Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, or you can watch live via our webcast.