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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

Councillors vote to balance books with council tax increase

North Somerset Councillors have tonight agreed a balanced budget for 2024/25 which includes a 4.99% council tax increase

 

The council said their priority will be to deliver services which protect the most vulnerable people while ensuring an open, fair and green North Somerset as this is, they argue, what communities have said is important to them.


Cllr Mike Bell

Cllr Mike Bell, Leader of North Somerset Council said: “This has been another incredibly tough year to achieve a balanced budget. As well as the inflationary pressures on our costs, we have continued to see growth in demand for services, particularly the statutory social care services for children and adults, and in-year pressures that we have had to act on to mitigate.

 

“Together with a poor local government grant settlement that sees North Somerset robbed of £37 million in government grant compared to the average English council, and it is plain to see that we have the perfect storm of financial vulnerability.


“Our partnership administration and our council officials have worked hard to deliver a balanced budget that continues to support core services for our community and deliver long term investments.


“We are doing the right things to plan for the future, but the system of local

government finance is broken. We do not have access to the tools we need to do

the job, either in the form of powers to generate income or in a fair national

funding system to share the nation’s wealth.

 

“We have continued to lobby government and the opposition front benches on the need for reform, proper devolution of powers and long-term change to financing and taxation models. Without that change from future governments, local services will continue a slow death and local government will see further collapse.”

 

Like all councils across the country, North Somerset is facing unprecedented demand for services at a time of rising costs and the absence of significant additional funding from central government.


Councillors heard today the council has a revised budget gap of £13.846m over the medium term, although none of this relates to the 2024/25 financial year as the budget for next year has been balanced.


This means more solutions and saving plans will need to be identified. This work will need to be undertaken very quickly as the budget gap for 2025/26 stands at £9m.


Councillors also agreed today a council tax increase of 2.99 per cent to support the council’s general services and a 2 per cent increase as an adult social care precept, which together will enable the council to generate additional income of £6.614m. This equates to a band D property paying £1708.50 for 2024/25. The equivalent figure for the previous year was £1,627.38.

 

North Somerset Council will receive £729 in government funding per household next year (excluding council tax), compared to the English average of £1,101.


The council is committed to engaging more with local people and getting their views about how savings can be made. They also want to work with communities and find solutions together. 

 

More detail on the council’s medium-term financial plan budget is available on the council’s website: Revenue Budget and Council Tax setting.

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1 Comment


Jonathan.Edwards
Mar 11

Fake News!!

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