Gloucestershire’s 18/19 budget agreed
Gloucestershire County Council has set its budget for 2018/19 at £412.9million which includes extra support for vulnerable children and adults, more money for roads, and investment in electric vehicle infrastructure. Take a look at our budget breakdown for 2018/19.
Today, (14 February), the full council met to agree spending priorities for the next year.
Originally, the cabinet were proposing a budget of £407.17 million for 2018/19. An extra £5 million for vulnerable children and young people was announced in January following feedback from local people.
A further £4.6 million was added to the county council’s pot when Gloucestershire local councils became a Business Rate Retention pilot in 2018/19, which allows them to keep more business rates. The council meeting allocated the funding as follows:
- £2.6 million for children’s social care
- £1 million for adult social care
- £0.53 million for the Highways Local Scheme
- £0.47 million for electric vehicle infrastructure
An additional one off Adult Social Care Support Grant of £1.581 million from government will provide even more money to support both older people and those with physical and learning disabilities.
At the meeting further amendments to the budget were put forward by opposition parties. The following were agreed:
- More money for the Highways Local Scheme giving every county councillor an additional £10,000 to spend on improving highways in their area funded from the business rate pilot
- £50,000 into a targeted period poverty programme working with health partners to distribute sanitary products to the most vulnerable women - funded from reserves.
The budget includes a cash injection of £30 million to pay for a new secondary school in Cheltenham, £39 million into roads over the next four years as part of the county council’s £150 million investment in highways and £2.74 million to support Highways England’s safety improvements to the A417.
A new Growing Our Communities Fund will provide each county councillor with £30,000 over three years to spend on community projects, which could include roads, giving local councillors the flexibility to spend money where their area needs it.
Since the draft budget was published, the government allowed councils to increase council tax by up to 3 per cent without a referendum. The council’s proposed increase of 2.49 per cent - will support the additional funding for vulnerable children. An additional 2 per cent for the adults social care levy will pay for more social care. The overall increase of 4.49 per cent is the lowest proposed increase of any top-tier council in the South West of England.
Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “This budget invests in Gloucestershire people’s priorities. As always, our priority is the most vulnerable. We have invested over £16 million into protecting children and young people – making sure the resources are available to protect those at risk. We have allocated an extra £2.5 million overall to protect vulnerable older people – and an extra £220,000 for people with mental health problems. At the same time, we’ve invested more into roads – paving the way for the biggest resurfacing project ever, and putting even more money into tackling potholes. We’ve done that whilst doing our best to keep tax rises down.”
Here’s the breakdown of how we will invest taxpayers’ money in 2018/19:
- Adult services £133.172 million (incl. help for people with learning disabilities, older people, vulnerable adults)
- Children & Families £102.924 million (incl. schools, children’s services, prevention & wellbeing)
- Communities & Infrastructure £79.896 million (incl. highways, libraries, trading standard, fire & rescue, waste)
- Public health £24.271 million (ring fenced grant)
- Business support £27.917 million
- Technical and corporate £44.720m (including cost of funding infrastructure investment)