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Councillors act to protect vulnerable

Published Monday, 15 February 2016

Council plans to protect vital frontline services from Government funding cutbacks could lead to a 3.9% rise in Council Tax.

Government funding for the Council has been slashed by 45 per cent since 2010, reducing the Council’s grant for key services such as social care, refuse collections and highways maintenance to £122million from last year’s grant of £137million. 

Now councillors at a budget setting meeting later this month will hear that a Council Tax increase for most Coventry residents of around 80p  a week is needed to help pay for the increasing cost of adult social care.

A budget report proposing a Council Tax increase of 3.9 per cent, is set to be debated by councillors on 23 February.

Cllr Damian Gannon, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, has warned that although savings through cutting the number of senior officers was saving around £2million a year and working more efficiently had saved around £13million this year frontline services would be at increasing risk in future years.

He said: “For a number of years we have kept Council Tax as low as we can manage while focusing on protecting the frontline services that we know people really value. 

"The government have refused to provide additional grants to fund the rising cost of social care, instead they want councils to levy an extra tax on residents, as a result, the Council has no choice but to accept the social care precept due to the pressures that the service in Coventry is facing. This will cost residents 40p more per week than the 1.9% rise the Council was originally anticipating making.

“Half of the rise in this year’s Council Tax – that’s 40p a week – will be used to partially offset these costs, but it simply won’t be enough in the future.  

“We know how important our frontline services are to Coventry residents but over the coming year we will need to work with people across the city to find new answers to the challenges we face, because the figures simply don’t add up and it’s clear the government will continue to cut our funding.”

For details on Council Tax please visit www.coventry.gov.uk/counciltax.
 

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