Council tax in North Somerset increasing by 2.99%
- Credit: Getty Images
Council tax bills for households in North Somerset are to increase by 2.99%.
North Somerset Council (NSC) members last night approved the authority's budget for the year ahead, which includes the rise in the council's share of the tax, as well as an extra £40m investment in long-term projects.
The £40m additional investment is in addition to £300m already committed for long-term investment in local projects, including improving services for children, green initiatives and local facilities, the council said.
The meeting was told key services like social care, recycling and waste and roads and pavement maintenance are protected.
Cllr Ash Cartman, executive member for finance, said: "Our administration is continuing to work hard together to deliver for the common good of the people of North Somerset.
"Through our collaborative approach we are committed to making North Somerset open, fairer and greener, and this budget does just that.
"The past two years have been incredibly hard for everyone. As we emerge from the pandemic we want North Somerset to thrive. We are committed to supporting our children and young people to have the best start in life and also to protecting our care services for adults.
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"We're passionate about tackling the climate emergency and this budget sets out a series of initiatives that will accelerate our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030."
The council tax increase is driven by social care pressures, the council said, and won't cover the gap in costs to provide the services, despite 1 per cent of the increase being specifically to support adult social care services.
The budget comes after the recent central government announcement that properties in council tax bands A to D will receive a £150 payment to support increasing energy bills.
The council said it is expecting further advice about handling these payments, so council tax bills sent out in March will not reflect the reduced amount for affected properties.
Cllr Cartman said adult social care remains under-funded by central government, and the pressures in this area will not be solved by the precept increase, with the sector receiving £8.7m of new money to help address pressures.
"Increasing council tax is not something we do lightly given the other cost-of-living pressures our residents are facing, but the council is not immune to cost pressures either and we have worked to mitigate impacts on services and household budgets," Cllr Cartman said.
"There are still risks with pressures of inflation, demand and income which we'll need to manage and there continues to be a budget challenge in the years ahead with significant gaps forecast which will need to be addressed.
"We're actively contributing to the government funding reviews and making sure our voice is heard to campaign for fairer funding We face significant challenges in the next three years beyond this and with only annual settlements from government longer-term planning is virtually impossible."