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1 - New council tax proposals to help elderly and vulnerable

money council tax

Council bosses have made a firm commitment to invest in care services for the elderly and the most vulnerable people in Dudley borough by proposing a new 4.99 per cent increase in council tax.

But borough residents will continue to pay the lowest rate in the Black Country and one of the lowest in the country.

The move is part of proposals to save £26million from the authority over the next three years.

New proposals mean a 3 per cent rise in council tax, which will go directly to adult social care services, and a further 1.99 per cent for general fund as originally planned.

Council leaders today outlined the vital importance of funding for the elderly, disabled and other people in most need across the borough.

Councillor David Sparks, cabinet member for finance, said:

“Any proposed increases in council tax are never taken lightly, but we continue to find ourselves in unprecedented times of financial pressure as a result of reduced funding from national government.

“I should also stress that if this is approved we will still be the lowest council tax rate in the Black Country and one of the lowest in the country, which means people in this borough continue to get sound financial planning and continued services for people who need them most, despite the extreme financial pressures.”

Councillor Qadar Zada, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

“We have the option of increasing the adult social care precept from 2 to 3percent, which we’re putting forward to help us protect as many of those important services as possible.

“We have recently transformed the way we deliver services for older and more vulnerable people as part of our modernisation plans, which have already released efficiency savings of £9.2million.

“This investment shows how we are working smarter with our reduced resources, concentrating on supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Council bosses have put forward savings of £19million for 2017/18, moving up to £24million by 2018/19 and £26million by 2019/20. But the budget report forecasts there will still be a deficit of £7m by 2019/20, if additional savings are not found.

The proposals are currently out to consultation in the Big Question. People have until February 10 to have their say via www.dudley.gov.uk   

The new council tax increase proposals are equivalent to £1.12per week for a band D property and will raise an additional £5million annual income.

In addition to this, the outcome of a recent consultation into possible changes to the council tax reduction scheme, a means tested reduction in council tax for certain residents on low incomes, will also see entitled households now paying at least 22 per cent of the full council tax liability for their property, rather than the previous 20 per cent, raising an additional £150,000 a year.

The savings are in response to the £76 million reduction in government funding since 2010 which is forecast to rise to more than £92million over the next three years.

News Release Contact Information

Chris Howes - 01384 815219 - pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk