Bristol City Council to increase council tax and parking charges to balance budget

Mayor Marvin Rees has promised to protect frontline services from cuts in his budget.

Council tax payers in Bristol are facing a price hike as the local authority looks to make up a multi-million pound shortfall in its budget.

Mayor Marvin Rees has pledged to protect frontline services - including libraries and social care programmes - when he announces his budget for the next financial year.

But with a £19.5million gap to plug, Bristol City Council has proposed a 3% increase in council tax - the biggest hike an authority can make - and a rise in parking charges.

The council is also looking at selling off buildings and offices as it attempts to make savings “from within”.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees

‘Bristol is not alone’

Deputy Mayor Craig Cheney said authorities in many UK cities are facing similar challenges as a result of the pandemic.

“The local picture in Bristol reflects the national one and the public sector is being squeezed like never before,” he said.

“Changes in Government funding come at a time when need has never been greater.

“However, we intend to make no cuts to our frontline services and to support our vulnerable citizens, we will also protect as many decarbonisation projects that will help us reach net zero as we can.

“Setting a budget for next year is a complex task and we are looking at how we can redesign services, reduce costs and be more efficient.”

The proposals will be presented to Bristol City Council’s cabinet on January 18 before being recommended to full council.