Rotherham Council has announced plans to increase tax rates by 1.95 per cent and cut 300 jobs as it tries to bridge a £21m funding gap.
The authority has published its budget recommendations for 2016/17, which focus on protecting frontline services and investing in Rotherham’s children’s services, the local environment and supporting the local economy.
The authority has published its budget recommendations for 2016/17, which it says focus on protecting frontline services and investing in Rotherham’s children’s services, the local environment and supporting the local economy.
The proposals include savings of £21 million that the council must make this year, on top of the £117 million it has had to save over the last five years. But council tax is likely to rise by 1.95 per cent, and 300 jobs could be lost.
Council leader Coun Chris Read said: “We’ve taken the tough decisions and are determined to meet our commitment to improve services, particularly those that keep our borough’s children safe.”
The budget includes a pledge to invest an extra £12m into children’s services. This will include money towards ongoing support for the victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation
However, car parking charges are likely to increase.
People will be encouraged to do businesses with the council online to save money.
And the council said it would seek to offset the impact of job cuts through voluntary redundancies and redeploying staff.
Coun Read said: “We’ve listened to residents’ feedback and are continuing to make back office savings, whilst protecting front line services as far as we can. We’re playing our part in creating more jobs in the borough and maintaining the local environment in protecting continued investment into RiDO and the council’s Streetpride services, something we know is important to residents.
“We’re also making more money available through Area Assemblies to ensure that all parts of the borough can see practical improvements around their priorities, within their communities.
“We’ve heard concerns about the proposals around the Visitor Centre and a planned reduction in manning levels at lower risk school crossing patrols. Our response is immediate with funding secured for these over the coming year, whilst we see if we can work better with partners in the longer term.
“At the same time we’re proposing that, through capital funding, we’re making those essential building and IT investments we need to make so that the council is more efficient.
“We have committed an additional £10 million, over the period 2017 to 2020, as we seek to bring Rotherham’s roads up to the national average standard.
“We’re also continuing our long-term commitment to investing in the town centre with ongoing work on the masterplan and provision in principle of up to £17 million for related developments.”
The full proposals can be viewed on the council’s website and will be considered on March 2.