Extra £5.56m for our most vulnerable
Local residents and businesses have told us that supporting the most vulnerable is most people's top priority and we've listened.
Over 1,000 people responded to consultation on next year's annual budget. Their feedback has been used to update the draft budget, which has added an extra £4.04m for older people and £1.52m for vulnerable families, young people and children.
More early help for people struggling with mental health will be available thanks to an extra £0.30million, as well as extra £0.65million support for those with dementia being discharged from hospital. Also included is £0.50million to help meet demand in other areas of adult social care.
Tackling domestic abuse and preventing family breakdown will see £0.80million investment, with another £0.32million to support vulnerable women. The council will also spend an extra £100k on finding more foster carers, especially those who want to adopt, to provide safe and loving homes for children in care.
The budget proposals also include £103.81 million of new capital investment. This includes an additional £6.182m on highways infrastructure to help keep Gloucestershire moving and the local economy growing, plus an extra £1.562m on our county's schools.
The budget still outlines 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 consultation asked people how important three priorities were compared to last year.
Ninety-three per cent felt that supporting the most vulnerable was more important or of equal importance; 88 per cent felt that focusing on working with communities, families and individuals to help them to do more for themselves was more important or of equal importance; and 81 per cent felt that focusing on reducing our running costs to get the best out of our assets was more important or of equal importance.
Further investment in roads was also top of the list for people making general comments.
Overall, 79 per cent of people supported the budget proposals, incorporating a 1.99 per cent council tax increase plus 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 £4.99 million that can only be spent on vulnerable adults, paying for things like social and residential care.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: "Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback. We've listened and used the extra money from government in the way you want us to.
"You've agreed that we must focus resources on the most vulnerable adults and children in our county. However, you've also said that investing more in our roads is important, so that's what we're doing."
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.
Funding from the government is decreasing year on year so the proposed budget is £402.68m for 2017/18 - a reduction of £5.78m from 2016/17.
The extra investment mainly comes from additional central government grants and also an increase to the council tax rates.