February 24, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Balanced budget to protect services set to go before Cabinet

A balanced budget to protect essential services while ensuring Cornwall remains a great place to start well, live well and age well will be put before members when Cornwall Council’s Cabinet committee meets next week.

The budget will see Cornwall Council’s part of the Council Tax bill increase by 2.99%, with an additional 2% levy which will be ring-fenced for Adult Social Care services. The increase will see the average (Band D) property’s bill rise by £1.65 each week.

The budget has protected the support available for those struggling to pay, and remains one of the lowest Council Tax bills across the South West region.

The draft budget would ensure:

  • A net increase of around £26 million on Adult and Children care services
  • Sufficient funding to continue to invest in new technology to improve customer services
  • £98 million to invest for the future on new school places and school repairs

With inflation standing at over 10%, and the increase in Council Tax capped at 4.99%, the process of producing a balanced budget has been challenging.

Cllr David Harris, deputy leader of Cornwall Council and portfolio holder for resources, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to put this budget before Cabinet, and I must thank all of the officers who have worked so hard to get us to this point.

“At one point in the process we were looking at a potential deficit of £62 million, so to be able to put forward a balanced budget for next year with a forecast for a balanced budget in 2024/25 as well is a real achievement.

“There are areas of course which are still facing pressures, especially Adult Social Care, Children and Family services and school transport, but we are doing all we can to mitigate any impact on services.

“I am grateful to the Government for the good financial settlements we have received this year, it has allowed us to balance the books without having to use any of the general fund reserve – or our ‘rainy day’ money set aside for unforeseen challenges.

“Many other councils across the country are having to dip into their reserves in order to balance their books. The fact that we remain in a reasonable position so far as reserves are concerned is a tribute to all the officers who worked so hard in looking at demand management strategies and finding savings.”

The meeting will take place at the Trelawny Room at County Hall in Truro on Wednesday, 8 February, starting at 10am. You can watch proceedings live via our Webcast service.View webcast hereThe budget will then go before Full Council for final approval later this month.