The County Council’s final budget proposals for 2016/17 were approved at the Full Council meeting on 25 February 2016.
Recognising the financial pressures facing the County Council due to reductions in Government grant and increasing demand for services, Councillors agreed to introduce the Government’s social care levy. The levy is equivalent to a 2% increase in Council Tax and the money raised will be spent on providing services for elderly and disabled people.
County Councillors also agreed to increase Council Tax by 1.99%.
In total, the changes will raise around £12m towards meeting the funding shortfall in 2016/17, costing the average council taxpayer an extra 80p per week.
Despite these changes, the County Council is still facing a funding shortfall of £50.2m by 2019/20.
Budget consultation feedback
The County Council received over 2,000 responses to the budget consultation.
County Councillors reviewed all the feedback and comments made during the consultation about the 28 budget proposals.
One proposal – to introduce charges for car drivers wanting to dispose of non-household waste at County Council owned recycling centres - attracted more comments against it than in favour.
Recognising the strength of feeling, County Councillors have agreed to shelve the plan, which would have seen charges of £5 per load for small cars and £10 for MPVs and estate cars introduced to dispose of construction and demolition waste such as soil, hard core, gravel, bricks and ceramics.