North East Connected

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council approves 2017/18 budget and an additional £8 million growth strategy

REDCAR & Cleveland Borough Council has set its budget for the coming financial year.

At a special budget-setting meeting, the full council also approved a Medium Term Financial Plan which balances a major capital investment programme of £110 million plus an additional £8 million Growth Strategy with £25.6 million budget cuts over the next three years.

Councillors agreed to increase Council Tax from April 2017 to March 2018 by 1.99% and the Adult Care Social Precept by 2%.

As part of the growth strategy the council will focus on promoting the area as a prime tourism destination and will set aside £250,000 to attract and promote events like the Festival of Thrift.

The 1.99% Council Tax increase will raise £1.1million per annum and will see Band A category council tax payers pay an extra 35 pence per week (£18.30 per year), before any discounts and exemptions are taken into account.  The increase in the Adult Social Care Precept, which can only be spent on some of the borough’s most vulnerable people, will raise a similar amount.

The council’s workforce will be reduced by up to 100 during the next three years but it is expected that compulsory redundancies will be kept to a minimum.

Cllr Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “The decision we are taking is a difficult one.  But we are not alone, nearly all councils are being forced to increase council tax and the Adult Social Care precept for residents as well as increase charging for services.

“There will be changes – possibly to our libraries – as you know we are currently consulting, our street lighting, the way our children’s services are organised and delivered and we will be asking people to recycle much more.

“But I am pleased that despite the cuts we have been able to fund an additional £8m investment programme for jobs and growth in the Borough and we have earmarked £250,000 to ensure we attract more visitors by staging great events like the Tour de Yorkshire and the Festival of Thrift.  These showcase our Borough as a great place to invest and do business and their pay-back is huge.”

Cllr Christopher Massey, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “It was a difficult decision to increase both the council tax and the Adult Social Care Precept. We have already made £67 million of cuts since 2010 due to the reduction in Government grant money and ongoing austerity measures that have meant serious cutbacks to our frontline services.

“However, we are absolutely determined to keep providing the same high levels of service provided to residents across the borough despite the need to make cuts to the council’s budget.”

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