RESIDENTS in Alcester and Studley and across Warwickshire will have to pay an extra 2.99 per cent increase in council tax after the county council approved its budget for 2021/22.
The rise equates to an extra 86p per week on a Band D property and of the rise one per cent will be ringfenced for adult social care with the remaining 1.99 per cent to cover all other services.
The budget is the first year of a five-year financial strategy to align resources to the authority’s council plan and Covid-19 recovery plan.
The approved budget includes £136million of permanent investments over the next five years, including £9.1m in children’s social care services, £8.2m to protect elderly citizens and vulnerable adults and £3.8m to support children and young people with disabilities for next year alone.
However the authority has also had to make across the board cuts of some £47m.
Leader of Warwickshire County Council, Councillor Izzi Seccombe said: “We have had to make difficult decisions and choices in determining the budget for 2021/22 and the first year of a five-year rolling medium term financial strategy.
“The budget is the basis of a new and more hopeful future, it invests in vulnerable people, businesses, and a green recovery, and continues to support our vision to make Warwickshire the very best it can be sustainable for now and for future generations.”
However leading Liberal Democrat Clive Rickhards (Studley) said that in approving the budget the controlling Conservatives had got their priorities wrong.
“Our budget, which was defeated, was more a budget for people,” he said.
“In particular we wanted to see £4million over five years put into dealing with the impact of the Covid crisis on the mental health of young people and families.
“We also asked for £300,000 over three years – a very modest sum – to be put into protecting the countryside pathways and routes, particularly around Great Alne and Aston Cantlow, which are continually being churned up by 4×4 drivers, but this too was rejected.
“However at least they did take notice of a proposal put forward by us and the Greens to put some money into dealing with the lockdown rise in domestic abuse.
“Overall, despite them saying theirs was a budget for the vulnerable they’ve still made £47m in cuts, and in this they haven’t been helped by their own Government, which only gave them a one year grant settlement, which makes planning difficult and pushes more of the burden for social care onto local authorities.”