Cumbrian Council Tax bills set to rise to fund adult social care

Council tax bills are set to rise in Cumbria. Credit: PA Images

Council Tax bills are set to rise in Cumbria - though councillors are keen to stress the increase will be small.

Cumbria County Council's cabinet has recommended that there should be a two per cent increase in its precept, which pays for adult social care.

The group of members though has also said that the actual rate of tax should not be raised.

Cllr Peter Thornton, deputy leader of the authority, who is also the cabinet member with responsibility for finance, said: “We have worked hard to keep this year’s increase as low as possible as we know the hard financial challenges many families are facing. As such we are only recommending a two per cent increase for adult social care, which will allow us to support a social care system which, nationally, is in crisis. Allowing us here in Cumbria to continue to protect the most vulnerable and those in need.

"Cumbria County Council has a strong track record in protecting its frontline services whilst making savings. As a council, over the years, we have attracted millions of pounds of extra capital investment into our county and we have served our communities well."

Council tax is collected by Cumbria's six district councils but most of the money raised is spent on services provided by the county council.

The cabinet has also approved a budget, which includes as medium term financial plan for the years 2022-2027. This is in spite of the fact that two new councils are set to come into effect, which will replace the existing seven authorities in Cumbria.

Cllr Thornton added: "This will be the 50th budget presented to the county council since the shadow authority was set up in 1973. And even though the government has taken the decision to create two new councils with affect from April 1, 2023, we leave behind a strong financial legacy and an ambitious capital programme. Something that we should be very proud of as we prepare for a new future for local government in Cumbria. It is because of our prudent financial management over the years that we are in apposition to recommend such a low council tax increase for 2022/23.

 "Even though the legal entity of the county council will end next year the work of the county council and the delivery of its services will continue and this is why our medium term financial plan has a five year vision. We want to ensure that our residents have no interruption to services during the transition period to two new councils and also beyond.

"Our five year financial plan means we have put in place what is needed to continue to deliver improved outcomes and quality services for the people of Cumbria. A legacy that will last beyond the life of the county council and one that puts the people of Cumbria first.”

These recommendations will be voted on at a meeting of the full county council on February 10.