Council tax in Sheffield is set to rise for the first time in five years to help meet swingeing budget cuts of £63m - it has been revealed today.
Residents will pay an increase of 1.99 per cent - or around £29 a year on a Band D property - from April if the proposal goes ahead.
Up to 200 job posts could also be made redundant, while the council looks to save £15m over three years from its major contracts with waste provider Veolia, highways firm Amey and Capita, which provides HR, payroll and benefits services.
Council chiefs stress those savings will look at ‘efficiencies’ rather than visible frontline services, after a cut to gritting routes was proved to be a ‘step too far’.
Care packages provided to adults, such as elderly people, will be ‘retendered’ to make them more cost efficient and customer services will switch to more online channels.
Some services, such as adoption and youth justice, are likely to become Yorkshire-wide.
Council leader Coun Julie Dore, who said balancing this year’s books to meet Government cuts was the toughest yet, said: “We don’t want to put council tax up but we feel that it is necessary because otherwise we will be dealing with more situations like we had with the gritting - that little bit of extra money will make that much difference.”
The council expects increasing council tax will mean an extra £1.3m than would have been provided if it had taken the Government’s council tax freeze grant. It is putting £100,000 into a hardship fund for those who cannot afford to pay the increase. Another £10m will be saved from ‘closer working’ between the council and NHS, while pensions are also refinanced.
A public meeting on the proposals is taking place in Sheffield Town Hall tonight.