Council tax bills could go up by 2.99 per cent in Torbay for the next 12 months - but you can have your say first
Torbay Council’s partnership cabinet has published its budget proposals for 2022/23
The financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic continue, and the Government has only given a one-year Local Government Finance Settlement. Despite this, the Cabinet says it is proposing to invest in several of its priority areas.
As part of the Government’s austerity measures, the council has faced a cumulative impact on its Revenue Support Grant of around £250 million since 2013.
The cabinet says that while there are no further funding reductions and some increases for 2022/23, the one-year Local Government Finance Settlement does not provide certainly for longer term financial planning. That is compounded by a lack of any funding for demand or growth pressures in the Spending Review for 2023/24 and 2024/25.
The council l also faces other financial challenges. There is a cumulative deficit of £9 million in the School’s Higher Need Block because the costs and demand for Education, Health and Care Plans for pupils exceeds the government funding.
The partnership says the on-going economic impact of Covid-19 continues to put pressure on services, support and lost income as the council responds to the pandemic through local test, track and trace work and supporting communities and businesses following outbreaks.
The local. authority also faces inflation and cost pressures with higher rates of inflation, increased National Insurance contributions and pressures on the cost of fuel and utilities and the costs of providing social care for our adult population are continuing to rise.
The Cabinet is now looking to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent with an additional one per cent increase for the adult social care precept.
The administration says it still wants to invest in priority areas in 2022/23 including:
· Waste and recycling
· Torbay’s Community Builders
· Youth support
· Resort services
Council leader Steve Darling said: “Since the election in 2019 we have tackled the challenges that the Council has faced head-on, not least in our Children’s Services department and we are now seeing positive outcomes for our children and young people. This has, in turn released resources which we have been able to invest in our community as we worked together to meet the challenges of a global pandemic.
“We face a number of challenges but we are determined to continue to provide services that matter the most to our residents."
Darren Cowell deputy leader and Cabinet Member for Finance said: “We want to carry on embedding our partnership and co-operative principles into everything we do, by continuing to work closely with our community and voluntary sector partners, giving power back to them.
“Unfortunately, this combined with other financial challenges, means we have to increase council tax. However, we are committed to ensuring that those who need support in meeting this increase receive it and will work with our partners in the community and voluntary sector."
The budget proposals and a link to the consultation are available at www.torbay.gov.uk/budget-202223 The consultation closes on Tuesday February 8.
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