Herefordshire Council has today agreed its budget for 2015/16 including a council tax increase of 1.9 percent. The budget includes savings of £10m - these are in addition to the £49m of savings made in the previous four financial years.
After considerable debate, the council agreed the following two amendments to the budget proposed by the cabinet:
- £125k to be set aside from reserves to part-fund additional feasibility work on a potential rail link to the Rotherwas Industrial Estate
- Allocate up to £50k from reserves to provide one-off funding to Herefordshire Citizens Advice Bureaux
These amendments will result in money being moved from reserves to new budget headings resulting in a net budget total increase of £175k.
Cabinet will now have to consider the implications of making any of the proposed changes before making a decision to implement either of these changes.
Herefordshire Council received notification of its government grant settlement this week which included an additional £220k in recognition of the increasing costs of adult social care. This amount will be set aside in adult social care reserves as a contingency for costs next year.
This means the council will spend £142m on providing services in 2015/16 which includes £53m on adult care services and £22m on children’s services. The remainder will be spent on other services such as waste collection and disposal, planning, road maintenance and economic development.
Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “It has been another extremely difficult year financially. Thanks to the hard work of all those involved, we will come in on budget for another year."