02:30PM, Wednesday 29 January 2020
Households are expected to face a 3.84 per cent rise in overall council tax as Slough Borough Council aims to make £8million of savings in the next financial year.
Basic council tax, the amount paid directly to the local authority, is proposed to go up by 1.84 per cent.
The adult social care precept, which helps pay for social care services for adults in the area, will also rise by two per cent if the 2020/21 budget is agreed by councillors next month.
The increase means Band C properties in Slough will pay an extra £46.65 a year, about 90p per week, with yearly bills rising from £1215.10 to £1261.75.
Charges placed on residents to fund police, fire and parish council services are yet to be confirmed so bills could yet go up.
Council leader James Swindlehurst (La, Cippenham Green) said: “We’ve always been quite aware that our residents are hard-pressed and we don’t increase our council tax of we don’t have to.
“Both Bracknell and the Royal Borough had a couple of years where they were in a council tax war to try and be the cheapest in Berkshire and we didn’t get into that but we’ve always tried to provide good value for money.”
During a budget briefing held at the council’s new headquarters in Windsor Road on Tuesday, Cllr Swindlehurst said the priority remained investing in protecting the most vulnerable in Slough including children in need, elderly requiring care and those facing homelessness.
The latest proposals plan a further £1.2 million of spending on adult social care and £1.6 million on the Slough Children’s Services Trust.
The trust, which operates independently from the council, has a contract to run children’s services in the borough until October 2021 but is expected to carry a deficit of more than £4 million into the next financial year.
Council tax income for 2020/21 is expected to bring in almost £61 million, making up half of the council’s total budget.
But the council leader said a reduction in the revenue support grant received from central government had placed additional pressure on the council.
The local authority will receive a revenue support grant of £6.2 million this year compared to £56.8 million a decade ago.
Cllr Swindlehurst added: “Pretty much since the austerity era began in 2010/11 we’ve been having to bring our budgets down.”
Councillors will vote on the budget during a full council meeting on February 22.
Top Ten Articles