Worcestershire County Council is aiming for a balanced budget for next year despite facing significant financial pressures.
A three year savings target of £60 million was announced at the beginning of this year. The target remains broadly unchanged but the next financial year (2018/19) has proved to be more challenging.
Despite the pressures, more money is to be invested into improving outcomes for children and young people, into adult social care and on making sure that Worcestershire's roads and pavements are amongst the best in the country.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, the Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said:
"These are challenging financial times but we are determined to live within our means and to deliver a balanced budget for Worcestershire. Our proposals are aligned to the priorities that we have set out in our plan for the county: Shaping Worcestershire’s Future."
"Residents tell us that improving our roads and pavements, cutting congestion, safeguarding children and protecting vulnerable adults are most important to them. By growing our income, by capitalising more of our existing expenditure and by making sure that departments live within their means we are able to invest into these areas."
In proposals announced today, an extra £10.5million is to be spent next year on the county's most vulnerable children and young people. An additional £7.2m is to be invested into tackling the growing financial demands of an ageing population.
A total of £37.5 million of capital investment will be made over the next 3 years into improving the county's roads and pavements, reducing the risks of flooding and growing the local economy.
It is proposed that Council Tax will be increased by 4.94% (3% for Adult Social Care and 1.94% to provide investments into the services that residents tell us are most important to them).
The increase is the equivalent to just over £1 per week extra on a Band D property.
If the proposals are approved by Councillors in February, Council Tax rates in Worcestershire will continue to be below the average for county councils across the country.