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Council Tax set to rise

Derbyshire County Council members are set to vote on an increase in council tax they hope will offset some of the cuts in central government funding.

During a news briefing this morning (Tuesday) a number of members, including Council Leader Anne Western, spoke about the cuts the council is being subject to and how they will impact on services used by people up and down the county.

Under plans announced by Westminster, Derbyshire County Council will be required to trim their budget by £157 million by 2018. So far the council says it has made savings totalling £54.725 million in the first round of cuts, now a further £45 million will need to be found in the 2015/2016 budget to keep up with targets.

The Council’s cabinet is due to vote next Tuesday on a proposed rise in council tax that will see rates increase by 1.98%. That increase equates to £16.92 per year for properties classed as either band A or band B. Band D properties are due to increase by the same percentage, with their annual rates going up by £21.75 per year.

Members hope the rise will raise around £5 million which leader Anne Western has told Peak FM will be put back into the budget and allocated to services across the authority.

In addition to the increase in council tax members have also announced a raft of cuts to services across the authority as they look to make the savings needed to balance the books.

The biggest cut will come in the Adult Care department with a number of proposed savings due to total £21.815 million. Among the areas where cuts will be made is £8 million for personal budgets, £1 million taken from the departments transport budget, over £4 million taken from housing-related support and £2.250 million from Fair Access to Care Services.

One area each department within County Hall is expected to suffer is in their staffing budget with some being slashed by as much as £1.333 million. Councillors haven’t ruled out job cuts to ensure the savings are made but have said employees who take early retirement or who leave the authority will not be replaced once those position become vacant.

Children and Young Adult Services is facing cuts of just under £10 million with Early Intervention Support and Troubled Families work all inline to be trimmed by between £1 million and £3 million.

In addition to the departments listed above the council has also announced plans to cut back on highways maintenance and further cuts to winter maintenance which will mean fewer and fewer roads being treated as the weather turns bad.

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