Extra £7 million for Bath’s children and adult care services

Bath & North East Somerset Council has approved budget plans that include an extra £7 million will be spent on children and adult care services this year.

The council has revealed that an extra £3.9 million will be allocated for adult social care, with £3.1 million for children’s services, including children’s social care and SEND services.

Councillors have agreed a 1.95 per cent rise in council tax, together with three per cent for the Adult Social Care precept, meaning Bath & North East Somerset continues to maintain one of the lowest tax rates in the region. The council will also seek greater powers from government to introduce a local Tourism Levy.

Alongside an additional £19 million investment in road maintenance, transport improvements and £4.2 million for affordable housing, the council has also set out how it plans to raise more of its own revenue, through commercial investments, heritage assets and a housing company, to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on government grants in the years ahead.

Charles Gerrish, cabinet member for Finance and Efficiency, said: “This budget will ensure the council lives within its means whilst at the same time providing additional investment in vital services such as social care, housing and transport. These are challenging times for local authorities, but our aim is to make the council financially self-sufficient so that in future we do not have to rely on government funding to invest in local priorities.

“We are making good progress towards this ambition, with millions of pounds saved from increased efficiency and millions more raised from new sources of income. But to go further we will need greater powers from government to raise more income locally, and this is something we are lobbying for. We recognise that some of these changes will have an impact on our staffing, and this process will be handled with as much care as possible.”

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