1. ITV Report

Council tax rise of 4.98% expected for Bournemouth

Council tax to be set at meeting of the full council in Bournemouth Photo:

A council tax rise of 4.98% for the next financial year is expected to be approved by the full council in Bournemouth later.

The council's Cabinet has recommended 'reluctantly' that the council tax increase for the 2017/18 budget be passed. The Cabinet had already identified £13m of cuts and savings to balance out a shortfall of £8 million in the budget for next year. However councillors are also expecting reductions in funding from Central Government of £6.9 million in 2017/18, and a further drop of £4.4 million in 2018/19.

The 4.98% council tax rise includes a 1.99% increase in standard council tax, and a 3% Adult Social Care precept to fund

The rise will allow Bournemouth Borough Council to allocate an additional £9 million to its Adults' and Children's' social care budget for the next financial year from April 2017. Officials say this means that approximately 75% of the Council's entire budget will be used to meet the cost of statutory, demand-led social care services.

"The effective management of the Council's finances has never been as crucial as it is today, recognising an unprecedented position of continued and deepening cuts in central government funding and simultaneous increases in the demand for services.

"Since 2011, Bournemouth has suffered a reduction of £40.2m in the Government's Revenue Support Grant (RSG) which equates to 77% less RSG funding for 2017/18.

"The latest reductions in Government funding represent significant challenges but we should remember that the Council has a proven track record of managing the delivery of services and balancing its financial position year on year. Given the uncertainties of current and future Local Government funding, the Budget we are recommending to the Council is financially sound, continues to deliver front line services and supports those residents most in need in our local community".

– Councillor John Beesley, Leader of the Council