Past consultations - the county council budget for 2016/17
Last December we launched a public consultation on the draft budget for 2016/17. We asked people what they thought of the budget proposals which included a 1.99% rise in council tax, the first for six years, and also an additional adult social care levy of up to 2%.
Previously, in its autumn 2015 spending review, the government announced that local authorities could consider adopting a two per cent council tax levy specifically to support care for older people.
We have protected adult social care since we started our efficiency drive in 2010 and have so far delivered over £114m in savings. However, further reductions in central grant are putting the council under increasing pressure.
Before agreeing this year's budget, the council wanted people across the county to have their say and give an opinion on whether or not Gloucestershire should apply the extra levy.
In the consultation the council offered three options when it came to council tax:-
- A 1.99% increase
- A 1.99% increase plus an additional two per cent National Adult Social Care Levy (3.99% rise in total).
- No increase.
Around 1,000 responses were received from individuals and organisations, including trade unions. The majority view of those who took part in the budget consultation was that the council should increase council tax to raise more money for vulnerable people.
More than 61 per cent of those who took part voted for a council tax increase, options one or two, with the largest number - 43 per cent of people overall - voting for option two, a 3.99% increase.
At its meeting in February Cabinet approved the proposed draft budget for 2016/17 following the public feedback which supported the move.
Later on in February, the full council met to agree the spending priorities for this financial year and set its budget for 2016/17 including more money for roads, extra support for vulnerable children and investment into cycling schemes.
Originally, the cabinet was proposing a budget of £417.98 million and a council tax increase of 3.99%, including the two per cent National Adult Social Levy. The levy is ring-fenced and will raise £4.7million to spend on adult social care services, things like residential or domiciliary care, carers support or support to keep people living in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.
However, just before the full council meeting the government announced an additional £2.4million for Gloucestershire and at full council members decided how that would be spent.
The council also agreed the previous proposals, which included £2million to recruit new social workers, investments into better broadband and continued focus on healthy and active communities.