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Council commits millions to protect most vulnerable

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An additional £10 million is to be spent on looking after the most vulnerable in the borough after the budget was approved at tonight’s full council meeting.

More than £5m is to be invested in adult social care, with money earmarked to meet the rising costs of social care for people with complex dementia and learning disabilities.

In addition, there is to be a £4.8m extra investment in children’s services.

The budget also includes a £1 million pledge to tackle potholes and carry out resurfacing in residential roads, as well as a commitment to targeting anti-social behaviour, recruiting extra police community support officers and continuing the work of the scams team supporting adult social care.

To meet these commitments the council is to increase the basic rate of council tax by 1.99 per cent next year, with a further 3 per cent for services for older and more vulnerable people. This increase equates to around £1.03 extra a week for a Band B property in the borough.

Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:

I’m sure people will welcome the significant investment we are making in services supporting elderly and vulnerable residents, as well as children in care.
We never take a decision to increase council tax lightly, however with levels in Dudley some of the lowest in the country and the lowest in the Black Country, increases are difficult to avoid if we want to continue to provide services people will be proud of.

The proposals, which also include just over £5m of savings, were voted in by a majority at tonight’s online meeting via Microsoft Teams.

Separate decisions about the police and fire elements of council tax are made by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Fire and Civil Defence Authority.

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