Council budget for 2019/20 approved

county hall Published Thursday, 14th February 2019

Worcestershire County Council today approved the 2019/20 budget that will see millions of pounds invested into tackling congestion, improving town centres and upgrading railway stations.

A total of £2.5million will now be invested into town centre improvements in Evesham, Redditch, Stourport and Worcester.

The Council's programme to relieve congestion will be extended with an additional £5m to be spent over the next three years in Bromsgrove and Evesham town centres, Kidderminster and on the A38 near Upton.

Other capital investments include £4m to build a new footbridge across the River Severn in north Worcester and to refurbish Sabrina Bridge in the city to support walking and cycling. An additional £5m is to be invested into the upgrading of railway stations and funding extra parking.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said: "This Budget provides £21million more for services that support some of the most vulnerable people in our county requiring adult and children's social care.

"At the same time we're investing £26million more over the next three years in measures to tackle congestion, improve our town centres and help grow our local economy.

"It's a budget that will deliver growth and prosperity, whilst protecting those that most need our help."

The Council's Budget:

The County Council's revenue funding is due to go up by more than £6m in the next financial year. However, the pace of growth in income is not keeping up with the increase in demand for social care. A set of savings were announced in December including the redesign of the Council and a review of all commercial contracts.

Since then, council's across Worcestershire have been told that they can expect to receive an additional £4.9m to help to reduce future demand in social care following a successful bid to the government for a one year 75% Business Rates pilot. The pilot means that more money from business rates gathered in Worcestershire next year will remain in the county.

Now the budget has been approved by Full Council, Council Tax will be increased by 3.99%, with 2.99% to support the general budget and 1% ring fenced for Adult Social Care.

The increase is the equivalent to 93p per week extra on a Band D property.

Council Tax rates in Worcestershire will continue to be amongst the lowest in the country for county councils.