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Council tax increase and more than £18 million cuts forecast next year in Derbyshire

County Hall, Matlock

Derbyshire County Council says council tax will go up again next year, as the authority looks to save more than 18 million pounds.

Residents are being asked to tell the authority what services matter most to them as it works towards setting its budget for the year ahead.

People are also asked to tell the council if there are any other priorities they think money should be spent on as well as giving their views on a proposed council tax rise.

This year the council is proposing to increase the council tax by either 3.99% or 4.99%.

A rise of 3.99% would consist of 2% to fund adult care services and the remaining 1.99% could be used to fund other council priorities including children’s services (costing an average council tax payer in a band B property an extra 76p per week/£40 per year).

A rise of 4.99% would consist of 2% to fund adult care services and the remaining 2.99% could be used to help fund other council priorities including children’s services (costing an average council tax payer in a band B property an extra 95p per week/£49 per year).

The proposed 2% increase to fund adult care services is in line with Government guidance and is the last year of a three year agreement with Government to increase council tax for this purpose. 

Greater demands on adult social care and services for vulnerable children, reduced Government grants, inflation and meeting the National Living Wage are all presenting challenges for the authority as it works to balance the books.

Next year the overall council budget is forecast to be £517.2m, with a saving target forecast to be up to £18.5m.

Over the next five years the council has forecast it must make total savings of £70m, which will take the total saved by the council between 2010-2022 to £327m.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said: “We work hard all year round to balance the books and provide value for money, which is a huge challenge as we continue to face great pressures on our budget.

“There are still savings to be made, which is why it’s important to us to know the views and priorities of Derbyshire people as we start to shape next year’s budget and look at how and where to spend it.

“More than 6,000 people had their say last year which was a great response, and I’d encourage people to make sure they give their views this year too. 

“It may be that people’s priorities have changed over the past 12 months, which makes it even more important that they let us know what matters to them now.”

Councillor Lewis added: “We listened to the views given to us last year and they were used to shape our approach to achieving annual savings, and we’ll continue to respond to what people tell us.”

The county council has launched a six-week consultation to gather residents’ views before it makes any final decisions on where it will spend its budget for 2019-2020.

Residents will be able to give their views via an online survey on the Council's website, which consists of five main questions.

In the first two questions, residents are given a list of council priorities and asked to indicate what they think should be the top three and bottom three priorities for the authority in their opinion.

The priorities include:

• Improving social care
• Keeping children and adults safe
• Promoting Derbyshire as a global cultural and tourist destination
• Unlocking economic growth and access to economic opportunities
• Encouraging healthy lifestyles and reducing future health and care needs
• Investing in employment and skills
• Supporting local library services
• Helping children and young people get the best start
• Championing local communities.

The budget consultation runs until Sunday 16 December. People taking part have the chance to win £100 of gift vouchers in a prize draw.

No decisions have been made and the council’s Cabinet will consider the responses to the consultation, along with budget proposals, at a meeting in January 2019. The council will also look carefully at how any proposed savings would affect the needs of different groups of people in the community.

Derbyshire residents will be given the chance to have their say about individual proposals which may affect them after decisions have been made about the overall budget. 

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