Calderdale Council has agreed its budget for 2016/17 and will see a Council Tax rise of nearly two per cent and an additional two per cent social care precept.
At the meeting of full Council yesterday (Monday), the Cabinet budget proposals were passed and will see a 1.95 per cent rise in Council Tax Rates in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
The Council has also included a two per cent additional Social Care Precept.
The Government introduced a new power for local councils to levy an additional council tax precept of two per cent to contribute to funding social care.
The money raised by the increase in Council Tax will create a dedicated fund worth £3 million which will help finance the recovery and rebuilding programme following the Boxing Day Floods.
Council Tax in Calderdale has only risen by one per cent in total over the last six years.
The Conservative group proposed an alternative budget and planned on removing Labour’s proposed Council Tax increase of 1.95% on the budget.
Conservative Leader Coun Stephen Baines said they would make up for this reduction in tax by changing the way the Council works and introducing changes in technology that will play a significant role in driving further cost efficiencies.
The party also proposed to reduce the number of councillors from 51 to 36 and having all out Council elections every four years.
The party also planned to remove automatic pay increase after each year of service and introduce spot salaries with performance related pay increases and reduce sickness absence from work from an average of over nine days per employee by removing the first three days of sick pay.
However, the amendments were rejected by oppostion councillors.
The Council has already identified savings of £78m since 2010, and had further saving plans in place that would have met the expected funding gap in 2016-17.
However the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the subsequent Local Government Finance Settlement reduced our funding by a further £4.8m.
The findings of the major budget consultation exercise during the summer of 2015, in which Calderdale residents identified which Council services they value the most, have been used to develop the budget proposals.