Cheshire East Council has today published a report which outlines its draft proposals for how the council can save £100m to balance the books over the next three years.
This is because Cheshire East, like most councils, is facing significant reductions in funding from central government whilst facing increasing demand from those who need support from our social care services.
The council proposes to meet this financial challenge through a mix of tax increases and changing its service offer. The overall aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient – by reducing its reliance on the central government revenue support grant which will decrease from £40m in 2015/16 to nil by 2020.
It is proposed to increase Council Tax by 3.99 per cent to invest with half of this rise going to adult social care. This follows last April's 3.75 per cent increase after five years of Council Tax freeze.
Councillor Peter Groves, cabinet member for finance and assets, said: "Cheshire East is a high-performing authority and a great place to live, work, do business and visit. Our residents enjoy good living standards and, when they need help from the Council, we are consistently recognised as providing excellent services.
"However, setting out our financial plans for the next three years is particularly challenging in the UK-wide context of big reductions in government grants to councils and rising demand for vital services such as social care."
He added: "The consultation document provides a strong set of initial proposals that balance the council's medium-term finances. It is also a real opportunity for interested parties to engage in the budget-setting process.
"Cheshire East puts its residents first. I value the opinions of local residents, businesses and organisations and I would encourage people to give their views via the consultation."
"New ideas that could help the council achieve its outcomes, are always welcome, so I would encourage people to respond to the consultation."
The public consultation on the pre-budget report for 2017 – 2020 will will run from Friday, 4th November to January 10th 2017. After which the responses will be analysed and considered before budget-setting decisions are taken by a meeting of full council in February 2017.
From tomorrow, Cheshire East invites feedback from residents, businesses, councillors, staff, town and parish councils and other stakeholders to inform decisions. This consultation will be an ongoing process over the next three years.
Photo: Councillor Peter Groves, cabinet member for finance and assets.