At today’s Full Council meeting Cambridgeshire County agreed its 2018/19 budget (http://ow.ly/jXbx30ieNoV) amid calls for unity in taking the council’s Fair Funding message to Government.
Members had heard that despite investing in a range of innovative and ambitious transformation and efficiency plans, without which the situation could have been much worse, the County Council was still projecting a budget gap for 2018/19 of £4.3m even after including a proposed 2% Adult Social Care Precept
At the meeting Members voted 34 to 23 in favour of a budget proposal which added an additional 2.99% council tax increase to its 2018/19 budget. The debate had seen unity from all parties about the increase in council tax, but divided opinions on how the money raised should be spent.
The Adult Social Care Precept increase of 2% and the Council Tax increase of 2.99% will add £23.76 annually (46p weekly) and £35.64 annually (68p weekly) respectively to a Band D property, before other precepting authorities such as city and district councils, fire and police add their amounts.
At the meeting the council’s bid to achieve a fairer funding deal from government was further discussed, as despite being the fastest growing county in the UK, Cambridgeshire is the 3rd lowest funded.
The Members heard that if the county council was funded at the same rate as an average London Borough it would receive £75m a year more in Revenue Support Grant from central government, and if it was funded at the same rate as an average UK County Council it would be £13.7m a year better funded.
“Cambridgeshire is a great place to call home, which is why so many people want to live here. Yet the success of the economy, one of the reasons for driving the growth, is also placing unprecedented demands on our services. In 2018/19 our changes to demography, pressures and inflation account for an additional £31m burden on our already stretched budgets” Said Cllr Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.