Posted: 10.09.20 at 17:36 by Richard Whitehouse - Local Democracy Reporter
Households in Cornwall will see their council tax bills rise by at least £30 a year next April.
Cornwall Council has published its first report on its budget plans for 2021/22 which include raising council tax bills by 1.99%.
This would mean a Band D property seeing their bill rise by £31.60 in April – paying around an extra 60p a week for council services.
The 1.99% increase would be the maximum allowed under current government guidelines – any higher increase would have to be subject of a referendum.
However the final increase will be higher still as the 1.99% is only for the share taken by Cornwall Council.
The final council tax bills will also include payments to Devon and Cornwall Police and town or parish councils.
And there could be an additional payment to Cornwall Council if the government allows local authorities to include extra funding for adult social care.
In recent years Cornwall Council has added an additional 2% increase which has gone directly to funding adult social care services in the Duchy.
Cornwall Council’s Cabinet will have its first discussions about the budget plans when it meets on Wednesday (sept16).
At that meeting the members will decide whether the current budget plans should be used as a basis for public consultation.
The budget plans for 2021/22 and the council’s medium term financial plan will also be discussed and debated by the council’s overview and scrutiny committees over the next few months.
As well as council tax the budget plans also indicate where the council will have to make savings over the next four years.
They show that the council will have to save an additional £58million by 2024/25 to ensure that its budget remains balanced.
Final decisions on the budget and council tax bills will be expected to be made in February ahead of the new bills being sent out in April.
Council leader Julian German said that the budget plans were aiming to prioritise the council’s critical frontline services, vulnerable people and investing in Cornwall’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is one of the toughest budgets we have ever had to draw up. The financial impact of the pandemic has been huge, and we can see that fundamental changes to the way we work will be required if we are to meet residents’ needs.
“Cornwall Council has a strong committed workforce, who have put residents first in the response to the pandemic in recent months and we will be working with them to redesign services to ensure they are delivered as efficiently as possible, while recognising that the use of technology is not always the answer for some residents.
“This is not a new challenge for us. We have already made £380m of savings over the past decade, and have done so while investing in your priorities, such as roads, children’s services and housing for local people.
“We now have to make substantial further savings, but I am proud to be able to present a draft budget which prioritises investment to frontline services, protecting the most vulnerable, supporting our businesses and growing our local economy through a time of unprecedented financial challenge.
“I will also continue to lobby the Government to ensure we are given clarity over our funding for the next three years, and to ensure the Prime Minister lives up to his promise of levelling up our economy by ensuring Cornwall receives fairer funding, and does not continue to lose out to more urban-focused authorities.
“We face difficult decisions, but we will continue to listen to our residents and use our resources wisely to secure the future for one and all.”