June 13, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Budget for 2024/25 to be considered by Cornwall Council next week

A budget for 2024/25, focused on delivering services for residents despite the fiscal pressures faced by local government, will be put before Cornwall Council next week.

The meeting of the Full Council will take place at County Hall (Lys Kernow) in Truro on Tuesday, starting at 10.30am.

The cabinet has already endorsed the draft budget for 2024/25, which includes extra funding of more than £20 million for Emergency Housing Accommodation, Home to School Transport and Children’s Social Care, as well as a focus on reducing all unnecessary spending in all areas.

The proposals for day-to-day spending in 2024/25, known as the ‘revenue budget’, will see a net increase of around £37m in spending on care for Adults and Children in Cornwall. This builds on the significant investment that has been made over the last two years into these key service areas.

In addition, there is a near £9m net increase built in in respect of Home to School Transport and c£7m to support Temporary and Emergency Accommodation reflecting the significant demand pressures being experienced in these areas.

The budget will mean a council tax increase of 4.99% for residents, which includes a 2% levy to fund adult social care, bringing the bill for a Band D property to £1,892.75. It also confirms plans to bring in a 100% Council Tax premium on second homes from April 2025.

It will now need to be verified by the Full Council, with councillors able to submit their own alternative budgets for debate.

Cllr David Harris, deputy leader and portfolio holder for resources, said: “We are determined to invest in Cornwall’s future, and this budget clearly demonstrates that intent.

“The significant increase in the proposed revenue and capital budgets represents a huge investment to deliver the Council’s mission of working together for a carbon neutral Cornwall, where everyone can start well, live well and age well.

“However, as I’ve said before, we require a fundamental shift in how local government is financed, including a fairer funding formula, it is only a matter of time before we face the edge of the same financial abyss that other councils are faced with currently.

“We will continue to pressure Westminster to see these desperately needed changes introduced.”

Also on the agenda for the meeting are proposals for the funding of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry, recommended changes to the numbers of councillors on committees, and the pay policy statement for 2024/25.

There will also be questions to Cabinet members from the public and from fellow councillors.

Cllr Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “I am proud of the budget we are putting before the council, and grateful to Cllr Harris and the officers who have worked so hard to get us to this point.

“Despite the pressures we face financially, we are still determined to invest to improve our resident’s lives.”

Tuesday’s meeting is open to the public, who can also watch proceedings online via our webcast service.

Watch the Webcast