Council Tax rise of 4.98% to help meet Adult Social Care cost pressures

Posted on Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Council Tax rise of 4.98% to help meet Adult Social Care cost pressures

Residents in Bournemouth will see their Council tax rise by 4.98% in 2017/18, as the Council adopts a 1.98% general council tax rise plus a 3% precept to go towards some of the additional costs of providing social care to older people.

Councillor John Beesley, Leader of the Council, said, “The latest reductions in Government funding are well documented.  They represent significant challenges but we should remember that the Council has a proven track record of managing the delivery of services and balancing its financial position year on year.”

However, the Council is facing both increasing demand for and cost of providing Council services. Cllr Beesley explained, “Demand continues to grow for services such as Adults’ and Children’s Social Care and Homelessness.  Care sector costs are particularly impacted by the Living Wage, and we now spend approximately 41% of our budget specifically on Adult Social Care. In this context it is interesting to bear in mind that in Dorset, we are projected to have 25% more over 80s living in the county by 2019 than the national average, making that pressure ever more acute.”

To support adults’ and children’s social care, the budget once again makes substantial provision for the most vulnerable with an additional £9million allocated to these services in 2017/18. This is on top of the significant resources allocated to Adults’ & Children’s Services over and above the base budget during the last four years.

The Council has achieved cumulative savings of £360million since 2007, with a further £13million of savings required to balance the 2017/18 budget.

Despite these very significant pressures, the Council’s Financial Strategy will:

  • Continue to safeguard priority services – including Road Rescue, planning enforcement and tackling anti-social behaviour.
  • Continue to secure the early delivery of the Council’s strategic housing ambitions, both in terms of building Council housing through investment from the Housing Revenue Account or through market housing in the private sector.
  • Have facilitated growth and investment in Bournemouth to support economic development and regeneration, and to support the private sector in creating sustainable employment.
  • Have driven forward the Council’s commitment to improving the quality of life for residents in the most deprived areas of Bournemouth, especially in Boscombe and West Howe over a shorter time-scale than previously planned.
  • Continue with the delivery of yet more organisational change within the Council, driving out further savings and efficiencies wherever possible.
  • Continue to see tangible financial returns and added value from the Council’s existing partnerships with BH Live and the Bournemouth Development Company.
  • Continue to develop the commercial platform to diversify the Council’s revenue base and secure alternative sources of income to better support the Budget position in future years.

Along with five other Dorset Councils, Bournemouth is committed to achieving sustainable and improving public services for Dorset residents, through the Future Dorset local government reorganisation proposal.  Whatever the outcome of the Future Dorset proposal, it is recognised that we must be at the forefront of leading this change, thus ensuring the opportunities for economic growth, devolved powers and financial security are achieved for our residents. This will become an increasingly key component in our strategic thinking for the future.

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