Budget consultation: Council Tax could rise by 4.99% in 2021/22
Herefordshire Council is consulting on its budget, Council Tax and savings plan for 2021/22.
The council is consulting on three areas:
- The council budget and savings programme
- Council Tax rates and the Social Care precept
- Support for vulnerable residents
Council budget and savings programme
Herefordshire Council is predicting a worst case scenario budget gap of up to £16 million in the next financial year. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty which has made it difficult to anticipate how much funding the council will receive from central government, Council Tax and Business Rates in future years.
The council must prepare to make savings in some services so that a balanced budget can be delivered for 2021/2022.
Council Tax rates and the Social Care precept
The budget assumes a total Council Tax increase of 4.99%. This would be made from an increase of 1.99% to core Council Tax which would contribute £2.2 million towards council services. A social care precept of 3% would contribute a further £3.2 million to be used on social care services.
Support for vulnerable residents
The council is consulting on two ideas to support vulnerable residents. Firstly, whether residents would be willing to pay more Council Tax if the increase helped residents on low incomes. Secondly, whether residents would support the introduction of a voluntary Community Contribution Scheme to provide additional funding to support vulnerable residents.
Councillor Liz Harvey, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how important council services are to our communities, but it has also had a significant impact on how we balance our budget. We have had to make sensible assumptions for next year’s proposed budget because decisions about the level of central government funding have been delayed.
“We are committed to balancing our budget while continuing to efficiently deliver the services that our communities need and rely on. This is why it is more important than ever to share your views on our proposed budget. We want you to tell us how to get value for every pound we spend, and how we can continue to support all residents and the vulnerable in our community as we plan for the future.”
This is your chance to comment on the council’s priorities, Council Tax and proposals to support vulnerable residents. Have your say by midnight Friday 8th January 2021. The received feedback will be considered by full Council on 12th February 2021.