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Public consultation begins on Rutland County Council's proposed budget for 2019/20

Rutland County Council's spending plans for the next financial year are open for a three-week public consultation.

Taxpayers can have their say on how the council plans to spend its £36.4million budget for 2019/20.

Rutland will receive an extra £300,000 from the government this year but it isn't enough to cover the cost of inflation.

Rutland County Council (6418795)
Rutland County Council (6418795)

The cost of providing council services is expected to go up by £1.2million, forcing the council to look at increasing its precept.

The current proposal is to increase the bill by 2.99 per cent plus an extra two per cent to pay for adult social care - the equivalent of £1,705 per year for a Band D property.

Councillor Gordon Brown (Con), who is responsible for finance, said: “Like all councils, our costs are going up considerably every year due to demand-led services and, also, inflation.

"This year we will spend almost half the budget on making sure adults and children get the care and that they need, and rightly so.

“Responding to children’s social care needs alone has increased our expenditure by almost 70 per cent between 2011/12 and 2017/18. Meanwhile our government funding has been reduced year after year and, although it has increased slightly this year, does not come close to matching the sustained increase in costs.

“We are saving as much as we can in order to make the most of taxpayers’ money and have identified a further £1.5m in savings this year. If the draft budget is approved, this will bring the total amount saved since 2011/12 to more than £11million. Unlike most local authorities, we have not cut Rutland’s front line services to make savings and will continue to do our best to avoid this, although it is becoming increasingly difficult.”

The spending plans include:

· £12.14million for adult social care (services to maintain health and independence in later life and for adults with disabilities and mental health needs )

· £5.49million for children’s social care (to support and protect vulnerable children, young people, their families and young carers)

· £2.48million for waste management (collection of household and commercial waste and the recycling and disposal of all materials)

· £1.76million for environment and public protection (street cleaning, ground maintenance services, trading standards, licensing and community safety)

· £1.02million for public transport (subsidising bus services, free travel for bus pass holders)

. £1.68million for school transport

· £1.01million for roads and highways (maintenance of public roads, car parks, footpaths, bridges and street lighting)

The consultation period runs until Wednesday, February 6.

Full details of the budget are available at www.rutland.gov.uk/budget or paper copies and response forms are available from the council offices and Rutland libraries.

Feedback will be used to create a final budget to be presented to the cabinet on Tuesday, February 19, followed by the full council on Monday, February 25.

Coun Brown added: “I hope people will take time to read the proposals in our latest draft budget and consider the financial challenges that Rutland is facing when they give us their feedback.”

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