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Cornwall Council Cabinet recommends budget which invests in residents' priorities

A budget to invest in residents’ priorities while keeping council tax bills as low as possible has been recommended by cabinet at Cornwall Council today.

It will now go before full council later this month for final approval. If it is adopted, council tax will rise by 1.99%, plus an extra 3% for the Government precept for adult social care.

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This is equivalent to an extra £1.52 a week for the average property (band D).

The business plan and budget would see Cornwall Council invest an extra £16 million a year to sustain social care services for vulnerable and older adults, on top of the £20 million uplift last year.

It also includes an extra £6 million a year for our OFSTED ‘outstanding’ services for children schools and families, and the introduction of a new waste service to help encourage residents to recycle more.

Savings in the budget include reducing business travel by 35%, cutting paper use by 37%, replacing our streetlights with LED bulbs, and automating back-office processes.

It also includes:

• Investment of more than £239 million in decent homes for local people, helping sustain our record as one of the top councils in the country for providing affordable homes.
• investing over £180 million in connecting Cornwall with superfast broadband, better roads, and more safe spaces for walking and cycling.
• giving children the best start in life, with more than £49m to repair school buildings and create more school places for children across Cornwall.
• leading the fight against the climate emergency, with more than £18 million set aside for renewable energy and our climate action plan - including planting a forest for Cornwall, retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency, and installing electric vehicle charging points across Cornwall.

The council has also taken steps to lobby the Government to stop pushing the rising costs of adult social care onto council taxpayers each year.

In an open letter to health minister Matt Hancock, Cllr Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, has called for an end to the annual supplement, which has been added to bills annually since 2016.

Speaking after today’s meeting, Cllr German said: “The business plan we approved today shows how we are living our values and what are our aims for the future, and the budget shows how we are going to deliver these.
“Of particular importance is adult social care and how we support those in needs of its services. For many years, Government have promised a sustainable funding solution.

“I hear the recommendations from our Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee and have today written to the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock MP, calling on Government to bring forward a long-term sustainable funding package for social care in the March Budget, and honour the Prime Minister’s pledge to “fix social care once and for all”.”

The budget will now go before full council on Tuesday, February 23 for final approval.