Council tax set to rise in South Cambs to help support frontline services
- Credit: Archant
An increase in council tax in South Cambs will go towards the continued pandemic response, with the council stating they are on 'sound financial footing'.
In a meeting to discuss the budget proposals for 2021/22, councillors emphasised the district's commitment to the continued pandemic response and helping communities to recover.
They also outlined a four-year plan to support South Cambs businesses via a new business support and development team, which was formed last year, and for a new council-wide transformation programme to improve customer service for all residents.
Around half of the council's annual budget of just under £20 million comes from local council tax, and a £5 increase per year for the average band D household was agreed for the next financial year - which will mean a rise of around 10p per week.
Lead cabinet member for finance Cllr John Williams said: "I fully appreciate that these are uncertain and difficult financial times for us all, but if we did not confirm a £5 per year rise in council tax now then we would be storing up bigger problems further down the line.
"This extra 10 pence per week will help us to continue delivering vital frontline services that residents rely on."
The council estimates that dealing with the pandemic has cost approximately £2.35 million so far. Some of the savings the council envisaged making during the past 12 months have not been possible due to coronavirus. To help deal with increased spending, the council received £1.9 million in government grants.
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Due to continued financial pressure, the budget proposals include around £5.1 million worth of savings during the next four years, with £2.2 million in savings and income already identified.
Cllr Williams added: "We are on a sound financial footing so South Cambridgeshire’s residents and businesses can be confident that we will be doing everything in our power to help them continue to deal with the impacts of coronavirus.
"We know the challenges we will face in the months and years ahead will be large but we have an incredibly committed set of councillors and officers who have shown time and again during the last year that they are fully focused on supporting our communities."