Money for a secure future
Support for vulnerable children and adults, better roads and a new school is the focus of the county council’s budget proposals for 2018/19.
Next week (13th December) cabinet will be asked to consider the annual budget proposals for 2018/19.
The budget includes an extra £11 million funding to help the most vulnerable children in Gloucestershire and a cash injection to build a new school.
There is additional money to support more adults to live independently, both older people and those with physical and learning disabilities.
A large investment of £39 million will go into roads over the next four years, as part of the council’s £150m investment in highways.
There are also proposals for some one-off investments including £30,000 for each local councillor to support projects through a Growing Our Communities Fund over the next three years, continued support for the Lengthsman Scheme for local highways improvements, and an additional £2.74 million for the A417 highways safety improvement work.
The council is proposing a 1.99 per cent council tax increase and an adult social care levy of 2 per cent on top.
The adult social care levy was introduced in recognition that social care continues to be the greatest pressure on local councils with more and more people requiring support later in life.
The levy means an additional £5.42 million for adult social care services that can only be spent on vulnerable adults, paying for things like social and residential care.
Gloucestershire currently charges £46 per year less in council tax than the average county council, including the levy and £173 per year less in council tax than the highest charging council.
For an average band D household the proposed total increase would be £47.05 per year or £3.92 per month.
Funding from the government is decreasing year on year so the proposed budget is £407.16 million for 2018/19 – a reduction of £0.5 million from 2017/18.
Before agreeing next year's budget, the council wants people across the county to have their say.
The headline proposals for 2018/19 are currently:
- Adult Services - £132.595 million (inc help for people with a disability, older people, vulnerable adults)
- Children & Families – £97.288 million (inc schools, youth support, children’s centres, early years)
- Communities & Infrastructure - £80.334 million (inc highways, trading standards, libraries, fire service and waste)
- Public Health - £24.272 million (ring-fenced grant, cannot be used for other areas)
The balance covers £27.71 million of business support and £44.96 million of technical and corporate (inc cost of funding infrastructure investment).
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 focus remains on supporting the most vulnerable children and adults in our county and improving our roads. We are also looking to the future - building stronger communities and supporting our economy to flourish. It’s really important that local people tell us if we’ve found the right balance for this budget so I am encouraging you to have your say.”
The council will consult on the draft budget from Thursday 14th December - Wednesday 17th January.
All budget proposals and recommended council tax levels are subject to the final decision of Full Council on 14th February 2018.