COUNCIL tax in Warrington is set to rise by 4.98 per cent after the Borough Council’s executive board approved a new, four-year budget last night.
The rise includes a council tax increase of 1.98 percent, plus an additional 3 percent increase for the government’s adult social care precept. This gives a total increase of 4.98 percent, setting a band D council tax at £1,315.90. Figures will vary in different areas of the town due to local parish council precepts.
The increase will bring in an additional £4m, helping the council to protect as many services as possible, in the face of ongoing cuts from central government. The council has already saved £92m, but needs to find at least another £41m in savings and revenue generation by 2020.
Warrington has decided to accept the offer of a four-year – instead of an annual – financial settlement from central government last year, to provide a better degree of funding certainty and stability and to undertake more long-term, strategic and proactive planning of services.
Warrington’s Executive board member for corporate finance, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We continue to work hard to mitigate the impact of the cuts from the government. However, the financial pressures being placed upon us means there are some difficult decisions to be made.
“While we have been nationally recognised for some of our innovative approaches to investing and raising money – and we continue to have one of the lowest council tax rates in the north west – the demands on us to find more money are increasing.
“The council tax increase will help us meet growing demand on services as people live longer and our population continues to grow. It will also help us protect vital services for vulnerable people, such as social care for children and adults, while also doing our best to maintain other services such as waste and recycling collection, street cleaning and roads maintenance.
The executive board has also approved a proposed capital programme for 2017/18 of £1.18bn. As part of the budget process, the programme has been reviewed to ensure it continues to meet council priorities and remains affordable within the level of resources available.