£9million extra for our roads
How taxpayers money will be spent next financial year has been agreed, with a further £5.5m of targeted investment on top of the additional £5.2m announced earlier this month.
Amendments proposed by Cllr Mark Hawthorne (leader of the council, Con.) today include one-off funding from the council’s reserves for:
- Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership to continue its work in light of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s withdrawal - £390,000
- Additional specialists to work alongside extra social workers to improve practice including a focus on mental health and adoption - £500,000
- Money to improve the process for traffic regulation orders to help keep our county moving - £100,000
- An additional £10,000 for every county councillor (from £20k to £30k) in the highways local scheme - £530,000
- Extra investment in highways - £3 million (totalling £9 million extra)
A further £1 million from the Adults Social Grant has been allocated to fund:
- Extra support for people with disabilities including tackling disability hate crime - £400,000
- Investment to improve adults’ physical and mental health whilst reducing social isolation and loneliness including social prescribing - £600,000
An additional £500,000 for the lengthsman scheme was also proposed by Cllr Richard Leppington (UKIP) and agreed: “To propose that an extra £110,000 is invested into the scheme in 2017-18 to enable the deployment of an extra crew (total budget £500,000). This would mean that each district in Gloucestershire would have their own dedicated team.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of the council, said: “We’ve had to make some tough decisions this year. I’m satisfied that this budget does what local people told us they wanted - striking the balance between protecting the most vulnerable, as well as extra money for our roads.”
Previous changes to the draft budget were proposed earlier this month after feedback from local people. These include more early help for people struggling with mental health as well as extra support for those with dementia being discharged from hospital. Also announced was additional funding to help meet demand in other areas of adult social care.
Tackling domestic abuse and preventing family breakdown will see an extra £800,000 investment, with another £320,000 support for vulnerable women. The council will also spend extra money on more foster careers, especially those who want to adopt, to provide safe and loving homes for children in care.
The budget still outlines more money for 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.
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.
The extra investment mainly comes from additional central government grants and also an increase to the council tax rates.