The financial situation facing Leicestershire County Council is challenging on all fronts, says the authority as it publishes its final budget proposals.
The four-year-plan shows pressure is growing on both revenue and capital budgets – requiring the council to spend £94m more and save £74m.
Savings totalling £34m are set out in detail, as well as a plan to reduce special educational needs and disability (SEND) costs by £20m a year, leaving a £20m budget gap.
A proposed 3.99 per cent council tax rise equates to £1 a week for band D property and would generate an extra £12m to invest in supporting vulnerable people. Most of this will be used to support the growth in the number of adult social care service users and children in care.
A proposed 3.99 per cent council tax rise – including one per cent for adult social care – equates to £1 a week for band D property and would generate an extra £12m to invest in supporting vulnerable people.
Our four-year plan is a stark reminder that pressure is building. A combination of surging demand, especially for SEND support, and rising wage and inflation costs ups our spend by £94m. Add uncertainty over national funding into the mix and we could see more trouble ahead.Person:Deputy council leader, Byron Rhodes
But, unlike many other councils, we are in control of our destiny and can set a balanced budget for two years before shortfalls arise. Our successful bid to Government to keep more business rates locally has unlocked an extra £6m for us and we’re able to inject one-off cash into supporting roads, the economy and extending broadband roll out.
National funding reform remains key for future plans. It’s simply not right that we’re bottom of the pile. If we were funded at the same level as Camden, we’d receive an extra £330m a year. We’ve secured a Government review and are continuing to do all we can to shape the new funding formula and get a better deal for our residents.
Just over 200 residents, businesses and parish councils responded to a consultation which ran from 18 December to 20 January.
The final proposals will be discussed by the cabinet next Friday (8 February) before the budget is approved by the county council on 20 February.