Calderdale Council will create a flood recovery and resilience fund worth £3 million after the budget was approved at Annual Budget Council on Monday 29 February 2016 at Halifax Town Hall.
As the Council is now facing exceptional financial challenges the budget includes a 1.95% rise in Council Tax in 2016/17. Council Tax in Calderdale has only risen by 1% in total over the last six years.
An additional 2% Social Care Precept will also be added to Council Tax payments to enable the Council to continue to fund high quality social care at a time when demand is steadily rising. The Social Care Precept was introduced by the Government to help fund this growth.
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“Last summer we held the Council’s largest ever budget consultation and it was clear that people really value what we do. People also shared some great ideas to help us deliver services differently which we have incorporated into the budget which we presented to the Council.
“We are continuing to face massive reductions in the financial support which we receive from the government. As a result we need to find further savings of £22.3 million by 2018/19. The scale of the reductions in government support will continue until 2020, when revenue support grant will virtually cease.
“At the same time we are leading the recovery from the most devastating flooding in Calderdale in recent history, affecting homes and businesses from Walsden to Brighouse. We must do all we can to help our communities to rebuild and thrive.
“To meet these unprecedented challenges we have developed a new strategy to ensure we are able to continue delivering our vital frontline services whilst maintaining our financial stability in these uncertain times.”
The new approach has four elements:
– the creation of a £3 million flood recovery and resilience fund
– clear spending and saving proposals for the next two years which will protect key services whilst achieving a balanced budget;
– a vision of the shape of the Council in 2020 and
– a change programme to reshape the Council so that we can meet the projected budget gap in 2018/19.
The Council will continue to provide responsible, flexible and appropriate care for vulnerable people, both young and old. Major front line services, which keep communities safe, maintain our parks and keep neighbourhoods clean, will also be protected.
The budget, which covers the next three financial years, from 2016/17 to 2018/19, is available to view at www.calderdale.gov.uk/budget.