Recommendations will be made to Full Council for approval

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet will consider the draft 2018/19 budget next Friday (12 January 2018), which includes proposals for 2018/19 Council Tax rates. Cabinet will then make recommendations to Full Council for approval on 26 January 2018.

Consideration of the draft budget will take into account central government’s proposals for the local government financial settlement (announced 19 December 2017), which includes:

  • 75% of business rate income to be retained by Herefordshire Council from 2020/21
  • The ability to increase the core Council Tax requirement by an additional 1% without a local referendum

The 2018/19 draft budget assumes a 1.9% general increase in Council Tax plus an increase of 3% to the adult social care precept. A total Council Tax increase of 4.9% is proposed in the draft budget, although it is open to Cabinet to recommend alternative spending proposals or strategies.

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing and Corporate Services, Councillor Nigel Shaw, said:

“Herefordshire Council continues to face financial pressures due to the increased demand on the county’s adult social care system and children’s services. We have a large proportion of people over retirement age in the county and this puts pressure on our health and social care services.

“Central government has recognised the effect that inflation has had on the cost of providing council services, as well as the significant pressures that affect adult social care. With the loss of all government funding by 2020, we need to look at other ways to pay for the services the council delivers and make savings where we can. Residents everywhere will have noticed changes to the services we deliver, although we have sought to maintain and enhance the delivery of our statutory responsibilities through improved efficiency and methods of working.  

“Meanwhile it is more important than ever to attract more opportunity to the county. The new university will attract more young people alongside related businesses and services, while the continued improvement of the city unlocks development potential, such as that seen on the newly opened City Link Road.  

“I have no doubt that the Cabinet will want to further consider the additional options that the provisional local government finance settlement makes possible and will make appropriate recommendations to the full Council.”

Cabinet will also discuss updates to the Medium Term Financial Strategy (which outlines spending, savings and contingency planning until 2020/21), and will make recommendations to Council for approval on 26 January 2018.

Published: Friday, 5th January 2018