Leeds proposes three per cent council tax increase

Leeds City Council is proposing adding an extra three per cent to council tax to help with the hugely burgeoning cost of care and to meet increasing demand for services.

Seeking to maximising efficiencies in ‘a tightly-managed budget’ for 2018/19, the authority is planning to again accept the government’s offer of adding three per cent to council tax to contribute to the spiralling costs of caring for the growing number of older people.

The three per cent precept would raise £8.6 million for the council, which expects to spend 65.1 per cent of its total net revenue budget of £506.2 million on statutory services for children and adults in 2018/19.

In total, a total council tax rise of 4.99 per cent in Leeds for the coming year is proposed as the council deals with continued challenges that mean it needs to find a further £38.2 million of additional income and savings by March 2019.

The council has claimed that efficiency savings of £22.2 millionm are proposed this year across all the council’s directorates.

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “It has been an extremely difficult period of sustained and significant reductions to our funding since 2010. Our approach has always been to tackle this head-on with a combination of intelligent efficiencies and service and resource reviews that prioritise those most in need. Alongside this we are absolutely determined to drive Leeds forward as a place of opportunity for all, where sustainable development helps us address our inequalities as a city.

“To achieve all this we have focused our efforts and our increasingly-limited resources where they can make the greatest difference and delivered some real results that have improved lives. However, our ability to do this is increasingly compromised as our funding continues to shrink and the pressures on our much-needed services grow.”

The budget proposals will be presented to the executive board for their views on 13 December, after which public consultation on the proposals will begin. The final budget goes to full council to decide whether to accept it on 21 February.

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