There's still time to have your say on Leicestershire County Council’s latest budget proposals, residents and businesses are being reminded.
You have until 20 January to find out more about the four-year plan and send in your views.
The proposals include £74m savings, required because rising demand for social care and special educational needs and disability (SEND) support services, combined with inflation, is set to push up costs by £94m.
The savings are made up of £34m of detailed savings, a plan to reduce SEND costs by £20m and a £20m gap.
They also feature a council tax rise of 3.99 per cent - generating £12m next year, to be invested in supporting vulnerable people.
Deputy council leader, Byron Rhodes, said: “Taking tough decisions and saving £200m since 2010 means we’re in a relatively strong position, especially compared to other councils, but this can’t go on forever.Person:Byron Rhodes, deputy council leader
Our four-year proposals show that pressure is building on both our revenue budget - used for running costs - and our capital budget - one-off spend to buy or build things and invest in infrastructure.
The plan sets out that with savings, we can balance our books for the next two years but then shortfalls arise. And the question mark over future government funding could exacerbate this gap.
Now we want to hear your views. The consultation closes on 20 January and I’d encourage you to have your say.
The proposals for 2019-23 include:
• Spending an extra £94m on services – due to growing demand for social care and special educational needs and disability support (SEND) and inflation costs
• £74m savings, including:
o Reducing SEND costs by investing a one-off £30m to create more school places locally
o Recruiting more in-house foster carers to reduce expensive placements
o Reducing adult social care costs by managing demand and reviewing contracts and personal budget allocations
o Generating more from property investment and commercial activity
o Reducing back office costs by maximising digital technology and simplifying processes
o Implementing initiatives that improve the council’s efficiency and productivity.
• A 3.99 per cent council tax rise – this equates to £1 a week and would generate £12m to invest in supporting vulnerable people
• A capital programme featuring a range of one-off investments such as building a relief road for Melton and other highway schemes, creating new school places, developing supported living for adults with disabilities and rolling out superfast broadband
The final budget proposals will be considered by the cabinet on 8 February and agreed by the county council at its meeting on 20 February.