10 February 2017

Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet will consider its final budget proposals for the financial year 2017/2018 at a meeting next week.

This is the second year of the council’s four year budget and council plan, which aims to save £58million over the next 12 months.

Adult social care precept

The recommendations before Cabinet include a 4.98 per cent rise in council tax, including 1.98 per cent for general council services and an additional three per cent specifically for adult social care.

This takes advantage of the flexibility, which has been given by Government, to raise income for the provision of adult social care locally to meet growing demand.

Cllr Heather Smith, Leader of the county council said: “Each year brings tougher challenges for us in delivering services for the people of Northamptonshire with less and less money.

“The growing pressures in adult social care have been talked about widely with a growing population which is living longer and needs looking after.

“The government has given us some flexibility to raise money locally to go towards these increased costs and we have followed this lead.

“We too will do our bit to deliver services more efficiently and are looking at innovative ways to reduce costs, while protecting the most vulnerable.”

Cllr Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for finance, said: “This flexibility from government has given us the chance to build more financial resilience into the system and this goes along with the work we are doing to bring greater efficiencies through innovation.

“However, going forward, the funding of social care on a national scale needs to be looked at to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position.”

Service pressures

Although local councils are not allowed to raise council tax by more than two per cent for general services without holding a referendum, for the financial year 2016/17 government allowed them to add an annual precept of two per cent to specifically pay for adult social care.

Because of increase pressures in the delivery of adult social care nationally, in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November it was announced that councils could increase the adult social care precept to six per cent, split over the following two years.