Barnsley Council leader 'sorry' for council tax rise

The leader of Barnsley Council has said he is ‘really sorry’ that the council has had to raise council tax by 3.5 per cent this year.
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During today’s (February 9) cabinet meeting, leader of Barnsley Council, councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE said: “I’m really sorry we’ve had to do that. I take no pleasure in it.”

Cabinet agreed the council tax hike of 3.5 per cent, as BMBC look to save £6.5 million.

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The final decision will be made by full council at their next meeting on February 24.

Sir Steve Houghton.Sir Steve Houghton.
Sir Steve Houghton.
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Barnsley Council tax to rise by 3.5 per cent

The rise equates to an extra £55.51 per year for Band D properties, which is is made up of a two per cent rise to pay for adult social care services, and a 1.5 per cent rise for council services, such as road maintenance, bin collections, recycling, and library services.

Annually, council tax on a Band D property will rise from £1,586.04, to £1,641.55.

15,000 households on the lowest incomes will continue to receive additional council tax support of £125 and will see no increase to their council tax bill.

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This year. BMBC has received £95m in government funding – £77m for core services, including £4m one-off funding, and £18m for adult social care services.

Sir Steve added that ‘meeting older people’s needs’ with the two percent rise to fund adult social care ‘is absolutely essential’.

“We’ve seen councils up and down the country having to go to government saying they can no longer sustain their finances, and to be given permission to find moneys in other ways.

“We’re not in that position in Barnsley, and we’ve managed Covid extremely well, both financially and in service terms.

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“There’s extra investment in the highways network. There’s an extra £2m in the road network, which I’m sure will be welcomed.

“We’re also introducing improved grass cutting next year.

“What the budget also allows us to do is meet our needs in children’s services, because the cost of children’s services across the country and in Barnsley are going up significantly.

“Similarly in adult social care, to meet the needs of our older population. Two per cent of the council tax rise is to meet that social care.

“The money that the government is taking from National Insurance will cover if at all, the reduction in costs of people who previously paid – it won’t come to us.”