Council Tax set to rise by 1.97%
Yesterday, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet approved the budget for 2014/15. This is subject to the final approval of Full Council, who have the final say on the budget. Contained within the overall budget, is a recommendation for a rise in Council Tax of 1.97%. This however, is only one possible increase in the Council Tax bill. As the Council Tax bill is made up of three parts: Cornwall Council, the parish/town council precept and Devon and Cornwall Police. This will more than likely result in a higher increase in bills than 1.97%.
No-one likes to raise tax unnecessary, but in Cornwall Council’s case, it has little option. This is due to the stinging cuts to the Councils grant, and with the added restraint of a cap on the limit Council Tax can go up without a referendum. It is a bleak picture, as the Council is having to find £196m in savings on top of the £170m reduction in the last four years.
The big question is how do we deal with the cuts and at the same time deal with a greater demand on our services? And for that question to be answered, we need the public to engage – and vice-versa – with the Council on how best we do that. This process of better engagement started this year, with more public consultation events than ever before, and by using different ways of engaging with people. Like You Choose. It is paramount we as a Cabinet and Council must build on this for the following years budget setting.