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More investment in adult social care in budget proposals

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Finance bosses are committing to investing in services for older and vulnerable people in this year’s budget proposals, released today.

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 £3.5m investment in placements for looked after children and money for 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 proposing 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:

This has been a year like no other and we know there are still difficult times ahead. Covid continues to impact our lives in ways we could never have imagined and brought unprecedented challenges to our public services.
We continue to support businesses, communities and residents through this crisis and, with the help of government funding, have been providing unparalleled levels of financial assistance to those who need it.
However, it’s vital we keep investing in our borough, especially in those services which need it most, and 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.

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

There are pressures on adult social care across the country and Dudley is no exception.
We have a growing number of people living with complex dementia and learning disabilities and we’re looking to boost spending to meet the rising costs of their care.
This additional 3 per cent precept on top of the basic council tax will help us continue providing vital services to some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

The proposals, which also include just over £5m of savings, will be put to cabinet on December 17 before residents get to have their say in a consultation.

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.

A decision on council tax and the investments and savings will be made in February next year.


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