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Cheshire West Council Tax Rise Proposed for 2020/21

Published: 30th January 2020 11:29

Council tax for residents in West Cheshire are set to rise by nearly 4%, as the authority battles to balance the books against what it calls a backdrop of national financial challenges.

Council tax

Cheshire West and Chester Council's proposals include a council tax increase for 2020-21 to help to fund £14.1 million investment in adult social care and £8.5 million in children's social care.

It would be made up of a 2% precept for adult social care and 1.99% for general Council services, resulting in a 3.99% increase in total. This equates to an extra £1.17 a week for residents in a Band D property.

The Council says it faces a £91.5 million budget gap, unprecedented financial uncertainty and the increasing cost of care. Budget proposals and a new Council Plan for 2020 to 2024 will go before the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 3 February.

The plans are being made at what they say is a time of increasing financial uncertainty for all councils across the UK, a budget gap in west Cheshire of £23.5 million in the next financial year and a further £68 million gap between 2021 and 2024.

Nationally the cost of caring for vulnerable adults and children is increasing along with the demand for adult social care and the complexity of people's needs.

The cost of placements for children in care is also escalating and, while the number of children entering care in west Cheshire has dropped by 40 per cent in the past two years, the borough has more children in care than the national average.

Cllr Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Finance and Legal, said: "We have a proven track record of strong financial management and forward planning.

"This has helped us bridge a funding gap of £57 million in the past four years while still providing an enormous breadth of high quality services to all of our residents.

"In planning ahead for the next four years we face considerable financial uncertainty and unprecedented challenges.

"While the government has indicated there will be extra funding for councils, this is for one year only and there are no guarantees after 2021.

"This makes medium and long term planning extremely difficult but we are determined to do this and to focus spending on our key priorities, particularly in helping those people in the borough who need it most."

She added: "We never take a decision to increase council tax lightly as we know times are difficult for everyone but we have a duty to deliver opportunity and growth for our whole community while ensuring we do our best to protect the most vulnerable among us."

The budget is linked to the new Council Plan, Play Your Part to Thrive, which was developed after extensive public engagement in October and December last year.

The Council is also proposing capital investment of more than £400 million in the next four years, to be spent on improving service delivery to help vulnerable adults and children; delivering major regeneration projects, including the first phase of Chester's Northgate development, and delivering 1,000 houses.

The capital investment programme makes the most of external funding where possible and spending is linked to six key challenges identified in the plan.

These include tackling the climate emergency, growing an economy that delivers good jobs, supporting more children and young people to make the best start in life, enabling more adults to live longer, healthier and happier lives and making all neighbourhoods even better places to call home, as well as a challenge for the Council to continue to be modern, efficient and empowering.

The emphasis of the plan is on residents, community groups, businesses and other organisations working with the Council in a more equal relationship to tackle the challenges ahead.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: "We can't fix all the challenges alone, it is only by building stronger communities and all playing a part that we can make sure our borough thrives."

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be asked to make recommendations to Cabinet, which meets on 5 February. Final proposals will be considered at the Council's annual budget setting meeting on 20 February.

Related content:  Neston Town Council precept to rise by 10p per week

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At 19:14 on 30th January 2020, undefined commented:
So let's get this straight nestons council tax is going to pay for Ellesmere port while Neston gets nothing. If i had the money like councillors get I would be quite happy for my council tax to go up. A lot of people in Neston are hard working and its unfair for us to pay more. We only have 2 cash machines in Neston no banks while Ellesmere port have a great deal of shops and banks and willaston have no cash machines Neston is a forgotten town we have no faith in the powers that be
Dave Carter
At 19:39 on 30th January 2020, Dave Carter commented:
I have no idea how you get that from the article or the statements from CW&C councillors undefined. The only place mentioned specifically is the Northgate development in Chester. Now you can disagree with going ahead with that if you like, but that is not what you seem to be saying. Or maybe you think that Adult Social Care and Children's Social care are not required in Neston, but if you think that I would say that you are wrong.
CO Jones
At 21:32 on 30th January 2020, CO Jones commented:
Get use to it Undefined. The cost of care provision and education is only going to become more expensive.

I am happy to be proved wrong but fully envisage Council tax increases year on year for the foreseeable.

Going to make for an interesting ten years from the looks of it once the post Brexit cost of living becomes the norm. Thank the lord I was taught delayed gratification by my Parents at an early age.
At 14:25 on 31st January 2020, undefined commented:
Where is the social care in Neston my mum has lived in Neston for about 60 years she's been diagnosed with alzheimers about 4 years ago but she had to move out of the area to be looked after in a care home for her needs away from her family. So if you want to raise the council tax put the money in the care for Neston. It's lucky we have a car otherwise it would be difficult to see my mum there are no care homes in Neston that can support my mum's needs
Susan C
At 12:41 on 5th February 2020, Susan C commented:
It sounds to me as if undefined is one of the many local people who still think we have an Ellesmere Port and Neston Council of some kind. The concept of two boroughs now being the councils for the whole of
Cheshire is certainly not yet grasped by everybody.
At 18:51 on 5th February 2020, Denno commented:

I doubt if my pensions will increase more then 2.5% but at least 4% is lower than last years 5.8% with our CT now doubling every 18 years and not every 12.41 years.However, had we voted Boris in stead of Jeremy maybe we too would have been gifted up to £100m like the North East.
I find the cost of Social Care baffling because if I had to be placed in care I would have to sell my property and when my wife was terminally ill I was offered help at £20 p h making it rather expensive cups of tea not that the carers get anything like that sort of money. So if everything is charged for then where does the enormous cost to the council come from?
At 13:13 on 7th February 2020, undefined commented:
I think we should all be aware that council funding from central Government has been decimated and this is the reason councils are in dire straights, so let us put the blame where it should be, this TORY Government "Local government funding - The story of this decade. By 2020, local authorities will have faced a reduction to core funding from the Government of nearly £16 billion over the preceding decade. That means that councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 the Government had provided to spend on local services in the last eight years. Next year, 168 councils will receive no revenue support grant at all". https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/5.40_01_Finance%20publication_WEB_0.pdf Read this and then write your letter to the Government please complaining about how we are all paying more for the decrease in council funding.
CO Jones
At 13:19 on 7th February 2020, CO Jones commented:
Skint pensioner's voting conservative repeatedly. Turkey's and Christmas spring to mind..
New User
At 15:58 on 7th February 2020, New User commented:
The Labour Party is not fit to run a bath never mind local government. That's why Labour was decimated in the General Election on 12.12.19. Labour run councils see residents as 'cash cows' and year in year out, rip them off with extortionate council tax bills whilst providing extremely poor value for money services. This has got to stop as residents on fixed incomes are being fleeced by the incompetence of Labour politicians running Cheshire West Council. It does not wash blaming central government. Just like any household, local councils need to start living within their means and budget accordingly. Other non Labour controlled councils in England, living in the same financial environment as Cheshire West, manage to run their services without resort to massive council tax rises year in year out.
At 16:39 on 7th February 2020, Denno commented:

Well said New User and more accurate than the previews sarcastic comment from someone who cannot understand why Corbyn took such a hammering at the GE.Sometimes the electorate get it right when they want action,stability and a chance to prosper.
CO Jones
At 16:59 on 7th February 2020, CO Jones commented:
It doesn't affect me if I'm honest. I believe in delayed gratification and have worked incredibly hard and saved since I was 18 so will be able to draw on 4 pensions when the time comes

I do await with coniderable interest to see how the Conservative party are going to repay the voters and make BREXIT work out for those on fixed incomes.

Good luck with that. Central Government drives the agenda irrespective of the colour of the local seat. Take the blinkers off

At 17:14 on 7th February 2020, Denno commented:

Rubbish. To object to the reduction of £16 billion in a decade I must do it myself as undefined suggests because it is of little use asking my MP who is in the wrong party to be effective. Blinkers be blowed.
CO Jones
At 17:29 on 7th February 2020, CO Jones commented:
I don't really understand that Denno.

Anyway, I am done with politics so I hope things work out for you all.
At 13:25 on 8th February 2020, undefined commented:
'It does not wash blaming central Government, says new user!!! So a £16 billion decreae to local Governments has nothing to do with local councils making ends meet!! So if your employer reduced your pay by a huge amount you could still buy everything you do now? What a ridiculous staement to make! Of course it is the fault of Central Government! You cannot get blood from a stone. A huge defecit in income to local councils means they cannot provide all the services they need to, common sense! I have no time for Corbyn and know perfectly well why Labour took a hammering at the last election. I am also sensible enough to see local Government can only work within the funds they get and, as CO Jones states above, "Central Government drives the agenda irrespective of the colour of the local seat. Take the blinkers off".
New User
At 18:20 on 8th February 2020, New User commented:
Its very simple, if you haven't got the funding, you do not provide the service as you cut your cloth according to your pocket and live with your existing budget! You do not keep screwing residents for more and more with council tax rises over 3 times the rate of inflation. This is a message that Labour controlled Cheshire West cannot grasp as they live in La La land where they have magic money trees they can harvest at leisure ie, us hard pressed residents. Conservative controlled councils living within the same financial constraints and budget reductions manage to deliver better services at lower cost, without ripping off their residents with extortionate council tax rises. Unfortunately Labour have always been the party of high cost, poor quality services at both the national and local government level.
CO Jones
At 18:52 on 8th February 2020, CO Jones commented:
04 Feb survey: Council tax payers in England face near universal rises on top of increased fees and charges to pay for what in many cases will be reduced levels of local services, according to a survey of local authorities.

It reveals that 97% of local authorities will put council tax up again in April to cope with a growing financial crisis, and the same proportion will raise charges for services such as parking, garden waste disposal and aspects of social care.

The latest State of Local Government analysis reveals widespread despair among councils over their financial health after a decade of austerity policies in which spending has been cut in half and the gap between demand and resources has grown.
CO Jones
At 18:55 on 8th February 2020, CO Jones commented:
More than a fifth of councils said the cuts to frontline services that they would be forced to make in 2020-21 were of a scale and impact that would be noticeable to the general public. One in 10 said shrinking resources meant they were in danger of being unable to meet their legal obligation to deliver statutory services.

Asked which services would have increased fees and charges, councils most commonly mentioned green waste, planning permissions, car parking, leisure and arts centre memberships, burials and cremations and pest control. One replied: “All we can get away with.”

Three-quarters of councils had no confidence that local government finance arrangements were sustainable, while only 3% were confident that the government would act to halt the council funding crisis, despite increasing pressures on child protection, adult social care and homelessness services.

The full survey makes for some pretty stark reading..
Dave Carter
At 10:59 on 9th February 2020, Dave Carter commented:
Right, New User, so given that providing social care is a legal responsibility, which services do you think the council should "not provide". Libraries? Recreation facilities? Support for bus services? Waste collection? Keeping footpaths open? Personally I would rather that central government provided the local councils with the resources to provide facilities that residents need, and cut its own cloth in other ways, such as Trident, HS2, bungs to various regions to keep voting tory, and sending our armed forces tearing around the world looking for brown-skinned people to shoot. Not to mention the vast wast and loss of revenue caused by their mad brexit policy.
At 13:35 on 9th February 2020, undefined commented:
Agree Dave Carter. Theresa May found the magic money tree to give to DUP when they needed their support. As for the comment by New User that'Conservative councils manage to deliver better services at lower costs', please cite where this takes place. Most Conservative councils are in areas whereby they get a much larger percentage of Government funding."Under a review of the local authority funding formula, £320m a year could be shifted out of councils in England’s most deprived areas while Tory-controlled shire councils mainly in the south-east gain £300m" .https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/25/former-red-wall-areas-could-lose-millions-in-council-funding-review. Perhaps New User could explain this article as he seems to be a fan of the Tories and a Labour basher? Let us be honest and put the blame where it deserves to be - lack of funding from Central Government affects what local Government can do, anyone with half a brain can see that.
New User
At 14:17 on 9th February 2020, New User commented:
Its very simple, if you haven't got the funding, you do not provide the service as you cut your cloth according to your pocket and live with your existing budget! You do not keep screwing residents for more and more with council tax rises over 3 times the rate of inflation. This is a message that Labour controlled Cheshire West cannot grasp as they live in La La land where they have magic money trees they can harvest at leisure ie, us hard pressed residents. Conservative controlled councils living within the same financial constraints and budget reductions manage to deliver better services at lower cost, without ripping off their residents with extortionate council tax rises. Unfortunately Labour have always been the party of very high cost, poor quality services at both the national and local government level.
At 14:48 on 9th February 2020, undefined commented:
Think you have said all that before New User and only you seem to think that way. Most sensible people can see where the problems lie.Unfortunately if local councils do not get enough 'cloth' they cannot cut it all ways. Stop blaming Labour and accept that it is the responsibility of Central Government to give money to local Government and if they stop doing so local services will suffer, due to THE HAND OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT!
At 14:50 on 9th February 2020, undefined commented:
BTW New User, as asked above, please cite where 'Conservative councils manage to deliver better services at lower costs', or are you just making this up!! If not put your money where your mouth is and cite which council, thanks!
Dave Carter
At 16:14 on 9th February 2020, Dave Carter commented:
Yes New User, you can cut and paste your own posts, well done. Now perhaps you will tell us which services local councils should cease to provide in order to "cut their cloth according to their pocket". I have given several examples of expenditure, I won't call those examples services because they aren't, which central government could cut in order to provide more resources to local councils for real services for residents.
CO Jones
At 21:15 on 9th February 2020, CO Jones commented:
I wouldn't bother gents. It's not worth expending energy and effort. It's the way the country is heading from the looks of it. Political polarisation and isolationism.

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