Have your say on the budget

Gloucestershire County Council is asking residents to have their say on proposals to focus on vulnerable children and adults, better roads and a new school in next year’s budget.

Yesterday (13th December), council’s cabinet approved the proposed annual budget for 2018/19 ahead of a public consultation, which runs from today Thursday 14th December to Wednesday 17th January www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/budget2018

The consultation includes questions about support for the most vulnerable, a large investment of £39 million into roads over the next four years as part of the council’s £150million investment in highways, and money to support older people and adults with physical and learning disabilities to live independently.

There are also 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.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “Cabinet has agreed the draft budget, but now it’s important that our residents have their say too. We believe it’s vital we continue to focus on supporting the most vulnerable people in Gloucestershire. We also know how important the road network is for business and for us to be able to get to work, school and leisure.”

Funding from the government is decreasing year on year so the proposed budget is £407.16 million for 2018/19 – a reduction of £0.537 million from 2017/18.

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 £27.715 million of business support and £44.961 million of technical and corporate (inc cost of funding infrastructure investment).

All budget proposals and recommended council tax levels are subject to the final decision of Full Council on 14th February 2018.