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19 - Council tax proposals to boost services

council tax 2017

Residents across Dudley borough will continue to pay one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, despite a small proposed weekly increase equivalent to the price of a loaf of bread for most households.

Council bosses have put forward savings of £4million for 2018/19 but have also proposed significant investments in key services.

It includes £400,000 into one hour free car parking in town centres across the borough, £30,000 increasing the number of grit bins ahead of the winter and £397,000 in streets and green spaces – as part of a £1.9million investment into the place directorate. There are also plans to invest £5.6million into services for vulnerable adults and children.

To meet these important commitments the council is planning to increase the basic rate of council tax by 1.99 per cent next year and add a further precept of 1 per cent which will help to support older and vulnerable adults – which is no more than 70p extra a week for most households or the price of a loaf of bread.

Under the proposed government rules, the council will be able to add up to a further 2 per cent to the precept allowing even more support for older people and vulnerable adults. The public are set to be consulted on this option as part of the Big Question next month.

Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:

“Council tax is a key area when setting a budget. Every per cent we increase council tax by is an extra £1million into public services at relatively little weekly cost to the individual.

“As a council we have made a strong commitment to investing in a number of key areas. People have told us that car parking and weed control are two of their main concerns and we have acted on that by adding significant investment. This small increase in the general council tax level is about delivering on that.”

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for adult social care, said:

“Services for older people continue to be one of the most challenging areas of the council which is why this precept, ring-fenced specifically to services for older people, on top of the flat rate of council tax is so important. It will help us continue to provide valuable services for some of the most vulnerable people in this borough.”

People will be able to have their say on the adult social care precept of the council tax as part of the Big Question consultation which starts in November. The outcome will be discussed at cabinet on February 8 before a decision at a meeting of the full council later the same month.

Full details on Dudley Council's medium term financial strategy are available at www.dudley.gov.uk

A copy of the full report can be found here

News Release Contact Information

pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk - 01384 815219