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Budget proposals

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Residents across Dudley borough look set to continue to pay one of the lowest council tax rates despite a £9.5million investment in local services.

Dudley Council’s cabinet is set to rubber stamp a swathe of investments in CCTV, bin collections, open spaces and adult social care.

There are also plans to raise the level of council tax by 3.99 per cent, two per cent of which will go directly to helping the elderly and most vulnerable people in the borough. That increase will help pay for the proposed investments and equates to less than 80p for the average home a week, or the price of a litre of milk.

But despite the proposed increase, people will still be paying one of the lowest rates in the country.

More than 1,400 people have responded to the council’s budget consultation which has been running since November last year. People were asked where the extra investment could be spent, with adult social care coming out on top.

Children’s services was ranked second with environment ranked third. Health and wellbeing, regeneration and enterprise and housing came in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

The council’s cabinet will be asked to consider the outcomes from the consultation and pass the budget proposals to a meeting of the full council in March for a final decision.

Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:

We are planning the biggest investment in Dudley Council services in a decade, but we need to finance that. It is vital we talk to local people and find out how they want us to invest their money and I am delighted so many people came forward in this year’s budget consultation.
One of the ways we are able to invest in services for local people is to raise council tax, but that is not something we ever do lightly. We have listened to local people, and two per cent of that proposed increase will go specifically to adult social care services. I can also assure people they will still pay one of the lowest rates in the country, and that has to be good value for money.”

The budget proposals will be considered by cabinet on February 12. Full council takes place on March 2.

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