second home - Council Tax hike - chief executive appointed

Cash-strapped Cheshire East Council is proposing another 4.99% rise in Council Tax from April – as well as a range of other cost-cutting measures to existing services.

The authority has unveiled its financial plan for 2024/25, including increasing Council Tax by the maximum amount currently allowed.

And it wants to raise other funds by increasing existing charges for adult care, parking and garden waste, as well as cut more services.

It says the 4.99% rise includes an extra 2.99% for general services and 2% as an Adult Social Care precept.

Other proposals include reducing some subsidies and some discretionary spending and services, such as schools catering, post-16 travel support, and free school transport for SEND pupils, closing some household waste recycling centres, changing the way libraries are used and funded, and changes to grounds maintenance and street cleaning.

It also highlights plans to seek contributions for existing leisure services from town councils and other organisations.

The financial report also includes proposals to reduce the cost of running the council, including leaving senior leadership posts vacant, service restructures, reducing spending on agency workers and reducing office opening hours.

A consultation questionnaire has now been launched for residents to complete, before January 29.

The plans comes as the authority already faces a £20 million funding gap in its current 2023-24 budget.

Cllr Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “No one comes into public service to significantly cut the services that local residents rely on, but we must be realistic and make responsible decisions about prioritising our spend with limited resources.

“We must put supporting the people who need our help the most, ahead of many other things we would like to do – and that many people want us to do – including further investment in road maintenance, local recycling centres, libraries and leisure services.

“Cheshire East Council is far from alone in this. Councils across the country are making severe cuts to services and making clear to government that the current financial position is not sustainable.”

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader of the council added, “It is so important for everyone to have their say.

“If you have never commented in a council consultation before, now is the time to do so.

“A number of these proposals will affect everyone – either directly or indirectly – and some of these changes are significant.

“We need to know how they might affect you and the people you care about.

“We, your local councillors, are going to have to make difficult decisions to enable us to balance our budget.

“However, these budget pressures do force us to look at doing things differently and identify opportunities for improvement and efficiencies.

“It is deeply concerning how challenging the year ahead will be for all local authorities, including Cheshire East.”

The council’s service committees will consider the budget proposals at public meetings in January and February.

The decision to approve and adopt the budget will be taken at a full council meeting on February 27.

Members of the public can attend service committee meetings and full council.

Agendas, minutes and details of up-coming meetings can be found by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/council

The consultation is open until 23:59 on January 28, 2024.

After this date, members of the public can still contact their local ward members about the proposals ahead of the full council decision on 27 February 2024.

The online survey can be found at: https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/Budget_Consultation_2024_2025/

Paper copies will also be available at local libraries.

To receive this questionnaire in an alternative format, or submit your response in a different way, email: [email protected]

If you do not have email access please call the council’s customer services team on 0300 123 55 00.

3 Comments

  1. What is the point of this council, they have one arrow in their quiver, and that is increase tax, or make cuts. What exactly are we paying all this money for? I thought these highly payed people were supposed to be clever?

  2. No surprise with this lot of idiots in charge, they could not organise a piss up in a brewery.

    But let’s charge you the hard working tax payers a boat load of cash to help them learn how to.

    Total shambles

  3. Chris Moorhouse says:

    How much have they lost through not implementing Sect 106 agreements as a simple example? They never seem to give facts about usage of the Adult & Health Service except to say for 2023/24 it is £136.3 million for a population of around 406,530 (2022 Census). How many people are using care packages etc. Every report, if you can call them that, always has links to this and that which I believe is done to confuse etc. I fully support helping people who need it but they rarely give details.
    Why don’t they reduce the number of Councillors from 82 to 60 possibly saving £500k plus with travel, iPads, mobile phones etc. Also what about cost of free parking? Let us see what happens!!

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