On Monday 9th February 2015 the Cabinet of Buckinghamshire County Council has recommended proposals to increase spending on protecting vulnerable children and restoring the county’s roads along with a proposed council tax increase of 1.99%.
A £25 million investment in road resurfacing has been achieved by bringing forward planned spending from future years; while increased spending of £12 million to help support the Council’s commitment to safeguarding vulnerable children and young people.
Leader of the Council, Martin Tett, said: ‘This budget has been an incredibly difficult one to achieve. We are utterly committed to investing in children’s services. We have done this through both reducing our Reserves but also by re-prioritising within a shrinking budget to fund the significant increase to help keep children safe. We have also tried hard to meet residents’ wishes on improving roads and maintaining key services.
While we were reluctant to have to increase council tax for a second year, we know from our budget consultation that residents backed a reasonable tax increase in order to maintain our most important services; and the 1.99 per cent increase will help us to do this.
Given other high demands on the Council’s services, such as care for elderly people and an increasing demand for school places, we have had to propose reductions in some of our services to get the books to balance. These include reduced support for Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOs), less funding for local improvement schemes, reduced support for economic development and reductions in our ‘Supporting People’ budget.‘
The final decision on the proposals and overall budget will be agreed at a full Council meeting on Thursday 12th February 2015.