2018/19 budgets set for South Cambs district and Cambridgeshire county councils

Guilden Morden Primary School has been granted £4,000 from Tesco.

Guilden Morden Primary School has been granted £4,000 from Tesco. - Credit: Archant

The 2018/19 budgets have been set for both South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Councillor Simon Edwards.

Councillor Simon Edwards. - Credit: Archant

A budget that will see £1.7 million of income from a council housing company invested to help protect frontline services in the district has been approved at a South Cambridgeshire full council meeting.

Ermine Street Housing was set up by the authority to reinvest in services ahead of large cuts to local government funding and will generate nearly 10 per cent of the district council’s overall budget for the next 12 months.

The council’s charge for the average band D property for 2018/19 will be set at £140.31.

The savings target for 2018/19 is £500,000, rising to £1.3 million in later years of the five-year financial strategy.

Councillor Steve Count

Councillor Steve Count - Credit: Archant

Councillor Simon Edwards, SCDC’s cabinet member for finance, said: “I’m very pleased that councillors have backed this budget, and it is brilliant to see that around 10 per cent of it is being funded by ourselves.

“Going forwards I’ll be looking for ways to make this percentage even higher, as we need to deliver another £4.4 million of savings during the next five years.

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“I’m always keen to investigate potential commercial activities to help bridge this gap.”

Over at Shire Hall, Cambs county councillors voted 34 to 23 in favour of a budget proposal which added an additional 2.99 per cent council tax increase to its 2018/19 budget.

Members had heard that despite investing in a range of innovative and ambitious transformation and efficiency plans, the county council was still projecting a budget gap for 2018/19 of £4.3m even after including a proposed two per cent adult social care precept

The precept increase of two per cent and the council tax increase of 2.99 per cent will add £23.76 annually and £35.64 annually respectively to a Band D property, before other precepting authorities add their amounts to the total.

County council leader Steve Count said: “Cambridgeshire is a great place to call home, which is why so many people want to live here.

“Yet the success of the economy, one of the reasons for driving the growth, is also placing unprecedented demands on our services. In 2018/19 our changes to demography, pressures and inflation account for an additional £31m burden on our already-stretched budgets.”