Barnsley Council tax to rise by 3.5 per cent

Barnsley residents are facing a council tax hike of 3.5 per cent, as BMBC look to save £6.5 million.

Monday, 7th February 2022, 4:36 pm
Updated Monday, 7th February 2022, 5:05 pm

The rise equates to an extra £55.51 per year for Band D properties, which is is made up of a two percent 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.

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The leader of the council, Sir Steve Houghton CBE, says the authority is in a "strong financial position", despite facing "considerable financial uncertainty".

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.

The leader of the council, Sir Steve Houghton CBE, says the authority is in a ‘strong financial position’, despite facing ‘considerable financial uncertainty’.

The authority’s budget, which sets out how the council will raise and spend its funding, will be discussed at Cabinet on February 9, before being considered, and formally approved at a full council meeting on February 24.

The leader of the council, Sir Steve Houghton CBE, says the authority is in a "strong financial position", despite facing "considerable financial uncertainty".

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

The budget report, by the council’s service director of finance Neil Copley states that council services are facing ‘upward pressure’ due to inflation and supply chain issues relating to energy, fuel, food, and construction costs.

Covid is expected to ‘continue to have an impact on the Council’s finances’, affecting income and tax collection, while causing an increased demand for services.

Demand and costs of children and adult social care, school transport and waste services ‘significantly increased’ during the last financial year – which are ‘likely to get worse before they begin to level out’.

Mr Copley warns that balancing this year’s budget is based upon ‘several budget reduction and efficiency measures’, with savings totalling £5.7m forecast for the next two years.

One of the strains on the budget this is year is children’s social care and SEND, which is having a ‘knock-on effect’ on the home to school transport service.

The original estimate at the start of 21/22 was to provide transport for 38 additional children, but the number of children using the service is 68, leading to a cost increase of £700,000 in 22/23.

Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “We present this budget after another year of uncertainty. A year where we’ve continued to support our borough’s response to the pandemic while striving to provide Barnsley with a strong future.

“And despite this, we’re in a reasonably strong financial position. I’m not sure how many other local authorities can say that they have a balanced budget for this year and next. It’s a great achievement, a testament to our staff and a position that I’m sure other councils are envious of.

“Our vision is to make Barnsley the place of possibilities, a place that fosters and grows ambition across our communities, and we’re absolutely focused on bringing this to life.

"Our budget proposes to boost investment for people and their places; in our Principal Towns and Local Centres, creating opportunities for new jobs and better homes, while supporting the people who need our help the most.

“However, we’re still faced with considerable financial uncertainty and many risks and challenges ahead due to labour supply issues, inflation, Government funding and levelling up plans, and moving forward from the pandemic, which puts significant pressure on our resources and increased demand on frontline services such as Adult and Children’s Social Care services.

“Our budget proposals are well planned and researched, and we remain vigilant, preparing for every financial scenario and managing our resources with a long-term future in mind.”