County Councillors in Derbyshire have agreed to increase council tax by 2% for the next year.
The extra money raised will go towards increasing the authority's social care budget for the elderly
It's the lowest increase for five years in our county.
At 2%, the increase will be used exclusively on services for older people, and by making no additional increase for other services, the rise is the lowest in the country compared to similar authorities that have agreed their budgets.
The proposal was agreed at a meeting of the authority’s Full Council today (Weds 5 Feb), along with the authority’s budget for 2020-21 of £560.2m.
The council’s budget is 8% higher than last year following extra Government funding boosts which include extra money for children’s and adult care services, and overall the council has seen the biggest rise to its budget since 1997, putting it in a good financial position for the year ahead.
Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said: “In the past year we have welcomed significant extra funding from the Government which has led to us being in a much more solid and positive financial position.
“The strong budget we have been able to present allows us to deliver an ambitious plan for Derbyshire, including protecting high quality, vital services, growing our economy, bringing new investments to the county and working to ensure Derbyshire is a post-Brexit success story.”
The council’s investments for the year ahead include:
- An extra £20.7m for children’s services to fund increased demand and costs including placements, support for care leavers, safeguarding, special educational needs and more social workers
- An extra £18.9m for adult social care to cover growing demand due to an ageing population, winter pressures and the implementation of a transformation programme to promote greater independence for older people
- £4m to develop measures to address the threat of climate change, with an on-going £200,000 each year to co-ordinate and plan activity to reduce the council’s and county’s carbon footprint
- £15m to build a new 40-bed residential care home on the former Bennerley School site in Cotmanhay, (looking to work with a housing provider to invest a further £15m in extra care housing on the same site)
- £3m for maintenance at residential care homes for older people
- £6m to support the building of new schools in areas with major new housing developments
- £6m to provide additional school places by expanding existing schools to meet local area demands due to new housing
- £7.6m to maintain and upgrade schools across the county including re-roofing, new windows, heating updates and re-wiring
- £4m to expand Glossopdale School to accommodate extra demand for places (subject to a consultation ending on 20 March 2020)
- £10.9m to fund the disabled facilities grant scheme, for disabled people needing major adaptations to their homes so they can continue to live independently
- £7.7m for transport infrastructure to support three major regeneration projects; Woodville to Swadlincote regeneration route, a second principal access for further development at The Avenue in Wingerworth and improvements to allow the major Clowne North development
- £22m for the Local Transport Plan, which includes support for major projects including the A61 Growth Corridor, general road maintenance and road safety schemes.
- An initial sum of £270,000 to begin planning to tackle ash dieback.
Councillor Lewis said: “While we welcome the additional funding we have received from Government, it still falls short of what is needed to meet the ever increasing demands on our social care services. That’s why we are continuing to call for our fair share of funding.
“However, as an enterprising council we can do a lot with the budget that we have, especially if we work more closely with our colleagues in districts and boroughs and our communities, which is our aim.”