Cllr Paul Bates - council tax

Householders across Nantwich and Crewe could face another 4.99% Council Tax rise in 2018-19 after Cheshire East Council unveiled its pre-Budget proposals today.

The authority is faced with finding £20 million of savings in the next financial year, while having to fund spiralling costs in adult social care and child care.

If approved, it will be the second consecutive 4.99% rise, adding around £52 a year to the average Council Tax bill.

It also proposes to close some libraries, push ahead with cuts to subsidised bus services, and a number of administrative savings.

It comes in the face of expected reductions in central government grants and inflationary costs.

Council chiefs unveiled their three-year budget consultation document today which outlines plans for spending and cuts in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The aim is to make Cheshire East Council financially self-sufficient by reducing its reliance on central government revenue support grant to nil in 2020.

It includes a proposal to earmark £2 million from the New Homes Bonus scheme which communities would decide how to spend.

Cllr Paul Bates, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “Funding local services is a huge challenge for councils across the UK as revenue budgets continue to come under severe pressure.

“In Cheshire East, the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by 4% a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17% in the last year.

“This council will always prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges.

“This means other services will have to deliver savings.

“Robust action is being taken to reduce budgetary pressures and ensure balanced finances – as we have successfully done in previous years.

“And we will be lobbying the government to ensure future financial settlements will continue to allow us to achieve this, while protecting essential frontline services.

“Cheshire East is a high-performing authority and a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

“Our residents enjoy good living standards and, when they need help from the council, we are consistently recognised as providing excellent services.

“We are aware, however, that local areas have differing priorities and, to support this, the pre-budget report contains a proposal to set aside £2m of income from the New Homes Bonus over the next two years.

“This proposal would allow local communities to determine how this money should be spent and will be very interested to hear the views of local people on whether this proposal should be set in to the final budget.”

Jan Willis, council director of finance and procurement, said: “We have a responsibility to work with councillors and other key stakeholders to balance the council’s budgets.

“There is, however, a fine balance between making efficiencies and still enabling quality services to meet residents’ needs.

“This consultation process presents a good opportunity to develop a resilient set of proposals that strike an appropriate balance between service offer and affordability.

“I encourage everyone to have their say on these proposals and the executive would welcome any new ideas that would help with the financial challenge and achieve the best outcomes for our local residents.”

The plan will go before the councils’ Scrutiny Committee and then to full council on December 14.

Residents have until January 12, 2018 to air their views.

To view the council’s pre-budget consultation report, visit the council’s website www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

Or you can pick up a copy from your local council customer service point or library.

2 Comments

  1. Cheshire East asking the residents of the borough to yet again fund their inefficiencies and bureaucracy. And as for the comment…“Cheshire East is a high-performing authority”. Hmmm, lets take a look at the state of the roads shall we and the potholes fixed and think about that statement. (https://www.fillthathole.org.uk/league-table?sort=asc&order=Total+Reports

    Out of the 214 local authorities across the country, Cheshire East have the 8th most reported potholes and road deficiencies (3086). 2209 of these reports are still open meaning only 26% of defects have been fixed.

    Compare that to Cheshire West and Chester who out of 1274 road deficiencies reported, have ZERO open reports and hence a fix rate of 100%.

  2. So how come my pay packet has not gone up by half this amount.
    You can not keep passing this extra cost back to the tax payer you need to look in the mirror and ask some hard questions on how much money you are spending and on what.
    The new Crewe life centre cost how much?
    the old baths is now left empty and in a state of disrepair and you have the cheek to ask for more money.
    What are your plans if you have any,still you could put up the parking fees in Crewe even though no one goes into the town centre now due to it being largely closed ,guess what for ?regeneration which has been ongoing for the last 10 years and has only seen the area get more run down by the day.

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