Herefordshire Council has today confirmed that the council tax levy for Herefordshire residents is to rise by 3.9% in 2016/17. The increase will help protect council services, including safeguarding vulnerable children, and will include an additional 2% (£1.7m) to support the significantly rising costs of adult social care for Herefordshire’s ageing population, which will be reviewed annually.
The decision was made at full council and will mean a rise of approximately £4 a month for those living in a band D property. The final council tax figure will be confirmed in March, to include precepts from the police, fire authority and town or parish councils.
Funding from central government has been reduced by a third for 2016/17 (a loss of £9m from the council’s budget), a trend which is set to continue, however Herefordshire Council has risen to the challenge by saving £59m since 2010, whilst still delivering successful projects to boost the local economy including The Old Market retail development, the new livestock market, faster broadband and the Hereford Enterprise Zone.
Councillor Patricia Morgan, deputy leader of Herefordshire Council, said:
“Herefordshire Council is leading the way and making difficult decisions to protect the vulnerable in our community. As with other councils across England, the responsibility for funding local council services has now been firmly moved from central government to local residents and businesses.”
“In line with neighbouring councils, we need to introduce a council tax increase of 3.9% to support rising adult social care costs. This additional funding is supported by the government, which has acknowledged that current adult social care funding is insufficient to meet demand.”
“We need to ensure that we protect our most vulnerable residents and with ever diminishing resources and significantly increasing adult social care costs, it’s never been more important for us consider different ways to deliver services to achieve better value for money, continue to grow our local economy, secure new jobs and homes and ensure prosperity throughout the county.”