News from Buckinghamshire County Council
PR 9317 | 06 February 2017 | For Immediate Release
Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet agrees last ever budget to include government support grant
County Council leaders have agreed the last budget to include the government’s main contribution towards day to day delivery of services, known as the Revenue Support Grant.
Government support, which only five years ago stood at £81.9m and amounted to 27.5% of the County Council’s spending, has fallen rapidly over the last few years as Whitehall has reduced funding as part of its strategy to balance the nation’s finances.
For the next financial year, which begins in April, the support grant will total £8m and in 2018/19 Bucks will become the first county council – alongside Dorset – not to receive it at all.
The budget will now go before full council on February 16.
Leader Martin Tett said the council had planned ahead and made ‘massive savings’, totalling over £100m in the last five years, including sharing back office functions with other councils, while also generating around £70m in income.
Cabinet members, who were subjected to three days of rigorous questioning over council finances by the budget select committee in January, agreed a 1.99% increase in standard council tax.
They also voted to implement the Government proposal for a 3% Social Care Precept to help cover the rising cost of social care. This is up from the 2% previously allowed and will raise a total of £7.5m during the next financial year.
However, use of the precept cannot exceed more than 6% over three years, so cabinet opted for 3% to be levied in both 2017/18 and 2018/19, but to not levy it at all in 2019/20.
Cabinet warned the spiralling cost of social care was a national problem due to a rapidly ageing population.
The council will have a £330.3m million revenue budget (excluding schools) for 2017/18, with a council tax requirement of £261.4m and a Band D county precept of £1,218.08 for the year. This equates to an £1.11p increase per week for Band D rate payers. Council tax remains below the average for county councils in the country.
There is also a capital budget of £324.0m over the next four years. This includes £15.9m to spend on highways maintenance in 17/18 and £13.5m in 18/19, up from what was planned in the draft budget.
For further information please contact: Adam King, on 01296 383401 or out of hours on 07825430978