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Friday, February 1, 2019

County approves 6.35% council tax rise

Councillors in Denbighshire have agreed the budget for the next financial year.
At a meeting in County Hall, Ruthin, members were asked to formalise the budget and agreed that council tax levels should increase by 6.35% in the next financial year.  This will address current financial pressures in Children’s and Education Services, social care, highways and environment.
The 6.35% equates to an additional £72.24 a year for a Band D property, or £1.52 a week.
Savings of £5.6 million were identified by services directly and these have been found through a wide range of cuts and efficiencies in functions that support the Council, with the services offered directly to the public being protected as much as possible.
Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, said: “It is our duty as councillors to make sure that the budget balances at the end of the financial year and the uncertainty over the levels of settlements in recent years has made our jobs a lot harder.
“Significant real terms funding reductions to local councils in Wales have continued whilst costs continue to grow. Schools and social care represent the most significant elements of the Council’s budget and the costs of these is growing beyond the resources available.
“While the council will always endeavour to be more efficient to save money, given savings of over £35m have been made in the last six years, it is no longer possible to address the funding gap through efficiency savings alone and a careful balance between service savings and local taxation has to be struck.
“The Council also expects to need to find £7 million in savings in 2020 and £4.5 million the following year.  That means that tough decisions are needing to be made and further cuts are predicted over the coming years. However, we are making a commitment to continue to provide the best services possible for the residents of Denbighshire.
Information about council tax, how the money is allocated and the benefits available to Denbighshire residents will be included in the Your Money booklet, which will be available on the Council’s website 

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