Being at the helm of a one billion pound organisation is a huge responsibility – especially when it’s your money as a Derbyshire council tax payer that we’re spending.
That’s why we work extremely hard all year round to ensure we spend your money wisely, where it’s needed most, funding high quality, vital services which people rely on.
Balancing the books is not easy as demand for our services grow – in particular for older and vulnerable people and children. Our budgets are under huge pressure and the money we have must go further every year.
As we come to set our budget for this year we’ve looked closely at the priorities you’ve highlighted in our recent residents’ survey, and we’ll do our best to deliver.
Our top priority is keeping council tax as low as possible so that we don’t add pressure to already stretched household budgets.
That’s why this year we’re proposing the lowest council tax rise for five years.
This two per cent levy is known as the adult social care precept – and the full amount raised from this – about £6.7million – will go directly to services for older and vulnerable Derbyshire residents.
There will not be any additional rise for other services – making this one of the lowest council tax rises in the country.
We’d love there to be no increase at all – but we believe this is the right thing to do as it will help to fund and protect these essential services.
To not take this levy may disadvantage us when it comes to future Government funding for adult care.
If agreed, the increase will mean an extra 40 pence per week for the average band B household.
We’re in a better position than we’d expected for the year ahead thanks to extra social care and special educational needs funding from Government.
But we must still save almost £19million in 2020-21 and over the next five years the savings target is nearly £65million.
It’s not an easy task, and we’ll be continuing with our call on Government to ensure Derbyshire gets its fair share of funding compared to other parts of the country.
There’s a lot to be positive about though, and the budget we’re considering is strong and will stand us in good stead for the years ahead.
We’ll continue to work hard to deliver best value for money for all our residents and aim to work even more closely with our district and borough colleagues and our communities.
This has to be a joint effort – and if we all work together we can continue to protect the services people rely on, look after our most vulnerable and ensure our communities continue to thrive.