Budget set providing extra funding for adults and childrens’ services
Telford & Wrekin Council has approved its budget for the next year that will see almost an extra £6 million invested into adult social care and children's services.
The 3.2% council tax increase is equivalent to 60p/week for the borough’s average band B home. This will generate around £2 million - well short of the extra investment the Council is making into vulnerable children and adult social care.
This continues the Council’s budget strategy and it is expected that Telford & Wrekin will again have the lowest council tax in the region next year, despite that from April it faces a further £4.3 million cut in Government grant.
In addition, in the current year, the Council has created a one-off £3.6 million investment pot made possible by sound financial management including a one-off VAT refund. This will fund:
• A further £1 million boost for the Pride in Our Community High Street fund on top of the £1.5 million this scheme has already invested into key town centres across the borough
• Another £1 million for the Council’s Pride in Our Community programme targeting a number of specific areas
• A £1.3 million fund to help residents get more active, for example by extending the Council free swimming offer to under 18s and continuing its £1-a-swim for over 50s , improving green spaces and rights of way and more support for Armed Forces personnel.
• £300k to support initiatives with public transport operators and other partners to boost public transport to the borough’s main industrial estates, education establishments and concessionary travel.
The Council’s drive to increase income from initiatives like the Solar Farm, Nu Place and commercial services which generate around £25 million a year of income and robust financial management are helping it avoid emergency financial measures that many councils now face.
It has also invested nearly £2 million in partnership initiatives which have helped to provide long term futures for services such as a number of libraries, community centres and Children’s Centres, which the Council could otherwise an no longer afford to run itself.
Finance cabinet lead Lee Carter said: “We are investing in services for the most vulnerable in our community thanks to our robust approach and planning. Through a series of one-off measures, we’re also helping residents and putting money back into communities, particularly those hardest hit by years of austerity.
“Next year we will face more difficulties as our grant from Government reduces further, pushing the burden of cuts in local government grant on to the council tax payer.
“After making £117 million a year savings from our budget since 2010, we expect that we will still need to find another £30 million over the next three years. Due to the growing pressures on areas such as care for vulnerable adults and looked after children and, despite increasing council tax, we still have to make cuts in our budget and services.”