02:46PM, Thursday 07 January 2021
Council tax bills in Buckinghamshire could be raised by 3.99 per cent next year as the cabinet announced its ‘incredibly difficult’ proposals for the 2021/22 budget this week.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the cabinet revealed its proposals for a ‘COVID-19 response and recovery budget’. Plans include increasing basic council tax by 1.99 per cent as well as a 2 per cent increase to the adult social care precept - which is below the maximum 3 per cent cap.
The proposals focus on investment in schools, road maintenance, waste, housing and homelessness. About £115,000 of the council’s reserves will also be used to reduce future identified risks.
Speaking after the meeting on Tuesday, Bucks council leader Martin Tett said: “While we are grateful for the significant Government grants we are getting to cope with the effects of the virus, it remains incredibly difficult to deliver a legally balanced budget.
“Yesterday’s lockdown announcement just highlights the uncertainty and the difficulty of knowing what’s around the next corner.
“That said, we believe these proposals are realistic, flexible, and most importantly, affordable to local taxpayers given the circumstances.
“While I see this as a budget that manages current pressures, it's also a budget that paves the way for longer-term economic recovery post-Covid, which invests in infrastructure and also puts us firmly in the starting blocks to help rebuild Buckinghamshire and importantly jobs, after the pandemic ends.”
The proposals will be scrutinised next week by a cross-party budget select committee, before a final budget is presented to full council on Wednesday, February 24.
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