Residents are being invited to have their say on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s draft financial plans for next year
These set out the changes B&NES Council is proposing to balance its budget for 2023-24, as required by law.
As part of the consultation the council is asking whether residents support an increase in Council Tax by 4.99% in preference to further budget reductions.
Following the Chancellor’s budget announcement, the Council Tax precept limit has been raised by 2%, split equally across general Council Tax and the Adult Social Care precept. Adult Social Care needs £3.2m next year just to maintain services and the 2% Adult Social Care element of the 4.99% Council Tax increase will generate an extra £2.4m to help fund this.
The Chancellor has also announced some additional grant funding for social care. The council estimates that the amount allocated to the council that does not come with specific new spending requirements will be around £3.3m. This funding will contribute to the rising costs of social care and enable us to close the budget gap without the need for additional savings from the ones we are consulting on.
B&NES Council is also consulting on proposals to increase the thresholds which determine the amount of support people get through our Income-Banded Local Council Tax Support scheme.
More information on these Income-Banded Local Council Tax Support scheme proposals and the consultation can be found at https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/local-council-tax-support-scheme-consultation
The draft savings and income generation proposals can be found here In summary:
- More than a third of the savings and additional income being put forward is proposed to come from the Deputy Leader and Resources area including an increase in income from the council’s corporate and commercial estate, a reduction in council running costs and reprofiling capital projects.
- Another third is identified from further additional income – including from Heritage Services, as the visitor economy returns post Covid, and from Leisure Services. The proposals include Inflationary uplifts to charges in Neighbourhoods Services, as well as additional income due to more recycling. Additional income would also come from inflationary uplifts to charges in Transport, the recovery of parking demand to pre-pandemic levels and new Residents Parking Zines, all of which would also generate income to help fund investment in highways and transport.
- Proposals in the Adult Services and Council House Building portfolio include a review of care packages so they match needs in an affordable way, maximising grant and other income and a restructure of the safeguarding team following its move in-house. Children’s Services’ savings proposals will see a focus on preventative services including an extension of Family Group Conferencing, as well as a review of service funding arrangements.
- Other proposed savings and additional income include reducing consultancy spend and operational costs in Neighbourhood Services and removing vacant posts in Waste and Fleet Services. Savings would also be found by the removal of vacant posts in the Transport portfolio.
To take part in the B&NES Council consultation on the draft budget proposals please go to https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/budget-consultation-2023-2024
The consultation is will close at 5pm on Friday 20 January 2023. Following the consultation detailed budget proposals will be drawn up for scrutiny and consideration by councillors at the following meetings:
- Corporate Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 23rd January
- Cabinet on 9th February
Final decisions about the 2023 to 2024 budget will be made at our Budget and Council Tax meeting on 21st February.
Information about all budget meetings is listed on our calendar web page. Meetings will also be live-streamed and available to view on our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on social media or sign-up to our weekly e-newsletter to keep up to date with our news.
Saltford Parish Council will be discussing and resolving its 2023/24 budget at its January meeting, which takes place in the Avon Room at Saltford Hall on Tuesday 3 January starting at 7:15pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend, and speak about any agenda item during ‘Public Time’. The agenda will be issued in advance of the meeting, please see our ‘Meetings – Agendas and Minutes‘ page.