Cumbrians facing a 3.9 per cent rise in Council Tax
Residents across Cumbria are facing a 3.9 per cent increase in their Council Tax bills – with half of that figure down to the need to fund adult social care.
Councillors voted today to approve the budget for 2016/17.
The increase is made up of a general Council Tax increase of 1.9 per cent together with a 2 per cent increase to meet the increasing demand in Cumbria for adult social care - which includes Council run residential care homes, home care for the elderly, and respite care.
The vote has come after public consultation, which the authority says revealed a two thirds majority of those who responded being in favour of paying for care in this way.
In a statement today, the Council said the decision has come against a backdrop of:
* Continuing austerity in public finances with the Council having to agree and deliver £198 million of savings between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2017. And the council still needs to find further savings of nearly £52million for the period 2017 to 2020.
* Increasing demand led pressures upon key local services, in particular, care for the elderly and care for vulnerable adults and children.
* Uncertainty in relation to the draft Grant Settlement from Central Government, and general economic uncertainty in the medium term.
Councillor Patricia Bell, Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council, is the cabinet member responsible for finance.
She said: “This is the 8th year the council has been forced to make savings and even after this year there are more financial challenges ahead as the council still needs to find an additional £52 million by 2020.
“This year’s budget is being recommended to Full Council following several years of sound strategic planning which has seen the council modernise, transform, and downsize. We have and continue to invest in future services in Cumbria; one new care home has already opened and a further two state of the art care homes are on the way, for the people of Cumbria.