Money where it's needed most

Published
06.12.2016

Support for vulnerable adults and children as well as prioritising the county's roads - that's the focus of next year's draft budget.

Next week (14th December) cabinet will be asked to consider the annual budget for 2017/18.

The budget includes proposals for more money to invest in social workers and support for children in care including intensive recovery and intervention, investments in employment and transitions for people with learning disabilities, more mental health professionals, and prioritising the county's roads.

The council is proposing a 1.99 per cent council tax increase and an adult social care levy of 2 per cent on top.

Government is allowing local councils to continue the adult social care levy, which was introduced last year in recognition that social care continues to be the greatest pressure on local councils with more and more people requiring support later in life.

Continuing the levy raises an additional £4.98 million that can only be spent on vulnerable adults, paying for things like social and residential care.

Gloucestershire currently charges £41 per year less than the average county council, including the levy, and £157 per year less than the highest charging.

For an average band D household the proposed total increase would be £45.25 per year, or £3.77 per month.

Before agreeing next year's budget, the council wants people across the county to have their say.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: "We want to improve the quality of life for people and communities in Gloucestershire. Our priority must be to support the most vulnerable adults and children in our county, however we also know people want us to invest in our roads. I think this budget finds the right balance and I want to know what local people think, so please give us your views."

Funding from the government is decreasing year on year so the proposed budget is £397.13 million for 2017/18 - a reduction of £11.34 million from 2016/17.

The headline proposals for 2017/18 are currently:

  • Adult services - £132,326 million (inc help for people with learning disabilities, older people, vulnerable adults)
  • Public Health - £24,912 million (ring-fenced grant, cannot be used for other areas)
  • Children & Families - £86,654 million  (inc schools, youth support, children's centres, early years)
  • Communities & Infrastructure - £77,759 million (inc highways, trading standards, libraries, fire service and waste)

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