Budget approved

Budget pressure 3 5.2.15

More than £310 million of spending, £57m of capital investment and a council tax freeze for a sixth straight year have been approved by Somerset County Council.

Today’s Full Council meeting saw Members vote on the 2015/16 Medium Term Financial Plan which includes the revenue budget and the Capital Investment Programme.

Councillors voted 31 to 17 in support of the proposals and also unanimously backed plans to pursue a campaign for Fairer Funding For Somerset.

The revenue budget, which sets out £16m of savings, also includes spending of £86m on frontline services for adults and £40m for children, while the Capital Investment Programme outlines £57m to improve schools, roads and other infrastructure.

Cllr John Osman, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “Despite the difficult economic climate which has seen our budget from Government reduced by £20m this year alone, I’m pleased we have still been able to freeze council tax and spend millions on key areas such as looking after vulnerable adults and children, fuelling the local economy, and investing in our highways and schools.

“We have also had to make some very difficult decisions to reflect the fall in Government funding. There is no doubt that we would rather not be making some of these savings, and if the Government hadn’t reduced our funding by so much then we wouldn’t have to.

“As we move forward, I intend to ramp up our “Fairer Funding For Somerset” campaign, and call for neighbouring authorities and other parties to support us in our goal, whatever government is in power in May.”

For full details of the 2015/16 MTFP, please see the papers online at http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/council/meetings/reports.asp?item=1162