As consultation into Somerset County Council’s last ever budget opens, Council Leader Cllr David Fothergill has highlighted how several years of prudent financial management has meant the Council should be able to set a balanced budget for 2022/23.
Councillor David Fothergill said: “Careful financial management over the last few years has left us in a sound financial position and the County Council should be able to set a balanced budget while continuing to invest in key services, such as adults social care and Children’s Services. I expect us to again set one of the lowest county council tax rates in the country.”
A short consultation is now live where residents can give their thoughts on Council Tax changes being considered by the Council.
Somerset County Council provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Somerset, spending over £775m each year. These include care and support to our vulnerable residents as well as highways, libraries, and waste disposal.
The Council is in a good financial position but continues to face a combination of higher costs and demand in Adults and Children’s Services – some of which are still due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is anticipated that cost pressures will have an impact of around £30m next year, a 13% increase in costs within these two services.
The Council is particularly keen to get residents’ views on whether a raise in Council Tax would be considered acceptable if it would help to sustain the most valued services.
Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council and Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Mandy Chilcott, said: “The Council is committed to delivering the best services possible for its residents.
“As we look to set the budget for the upcoming financial year, we want to make sure residents have the chance to make their voices heard. I would urge everyone to take the time to fill out this short consultation and have their say.”
This will be the last budget for Somerset County Council before the new unitary authority, Somerset Council, forms in April 2023.
The consultation responses will be considered by councillors at their Cabinet Committee meetings before the budget is debated and approved by County Council in February 2022.
The consultation closes on January 28. To take part, click on the following link: Somerset County Council – Budget Consultation – Have Your Say! – Somerset County Council Consultations (inconsult.uk)
Notes to editors
- Somerset County Council and the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group last week confirmed and £4.8 investment in supporting the care sector in the county, supporting home care to fee up hospital beds.
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