Cheshire East Council agrees 4.99% Council Tax increase

Cheshire East Council has agreed its four-year financial plan which includes areas for investment and growth, as well as changes to save money and increase income. This includes a 4.99% increase in council tax, which will generate around £13 million of additional income, leaving around £20 million of further savings to be found.

Each of the council's service committees considered the budget proposals at public meetings prior to the council decision. The council also asked residents, staff and other stakeholders for their views in a public consultation earlier this year. This led to changes to a number of proposals, which were then agreed as part of the medium-term financial strategy (MTFS) at a full council meeting on Wednesday, 22nd February.

The council will now begin a process of ongoing engagement and consultation which will see it work with the community and partner organisations as it aims to achieve its corporate plan within the agreed budget.

Councillor Amanda Stott, chair of Cheshire East Council's finance sub-committee, said: "It is not easy to set a four-year balanced budget that aligns to a council's corporate plan, especially in the context of unprecedented local, national and international economic pressures.

"However, now that our budget is agreed, we will work hard to implement the agreed changes, consulting and engaging further on a number of the proposals in the plan. We will also continue to look for ways to make savings across the council throughout the year."

Deputy leader of the council, Councillor Craig Browne, said: "I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this budget setting process.

"This year, we had the largest public response to our budget consultation that the council has seen. I think that this reflects how important the services we deliver are to our residents and the particular difficulty of these decisions this year due to factors outside the council's control, such as increased service demand and rising inflation."

Leader of the council, Councillor Sam Corcoran, said, "As a council we are continuing to lobby national government alongside the County Councils Network and Local Government Association, to save local services and better address local authority funding in the longer-term.

"We understand that a council tax rise of 4.99 per cent from April, during a cost-of-living crisis, is going to be difficult for many people. Cheshire East Council has continued with its commitment to council tax support for those who need it.

"Anyone who is concerned about their council tax payments is advised to visit where information about eligibility for schemes and help and support is available."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Andy Brown
Tuesday 28th February 2023 at 9:17 am
Money for old rope.
Stephen Justice
Thursday 9th March 2023 at 12:46 pm
Contrary to the allegation that the council tax is for old rope, it appears from figures presented by CEC that the increase will allow for most services to continue as at present albeit with the need for new revenues and cost cutting necessary.

The services - which seem not to include the provision of old rope comprise:

- health and adult care
- children and family support
- environment and communities
- economy and growth initiatives
- funding capital spending
- highways and transport
- and of course corporate services

The first six of those seem to me to be value adding necessary activities to maintain our county’s infrastructure and support those in need.

The final item at just 12% of total spending seems reasonable - all those activities including collection of council taxes and business rates can’t just happen, they need administering.

Given the competitive relative cost of and annual increases in CEC’s budget in relation to other councils and given 4.99% is under half of current inflation, I suggest that things could be far worse.