Wiltshire Council budget 2018-2019: council tax bills to rise by 5.99 per centIn the next financial year, Wiltshire Council will be charging home-owners the full allowable 'Social Care Levy' of three per cent of Council Tax with a further 2.99 per cent rise in its council tax rates. The Council say this will add just 22p a day/£1.54 a week to current Band D council tax bills.
These figures were revealed with the announcement of Wiltshire Council's proposed budget for the next financial year (2018-2019). It will go before the full Council at its next meeting on February 20 for approval.
This rise in the basic Council Tax keeps Wiltshire Council point one of a per cent away from having to put the increase to a referendum. The 5.99 per cent does not include the council tax precept that will be charged next year by Marlborough Town Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
These increases in total Council Tax charges will raise about £21million. This will more than cover the cut in the grant from central government - a cut of £18.5million. But the Council will lose another government grant of £6million and with rising costs and rising demand for many of its services, the Council needs to make further savings of £25,596,000.
However, the Council is still planning to spend £120million on capital investment - this will include £23.8million on its campus and community hub policy. Much of this sum is committed to the Melksham campus plan and other 'live' schemes.
But it includes no funding to help Marlborough Town Council with the costs of turning the abandoned Youth Centre into the town's new Community and Youth Centre.
Those savings will come from 'transformation' programmes for adult care services and the families and children budget, which includes safeguarding children in care.
More of the savings total will come from passing services to local councils: "Building on our strong partnership with local communities, we aim to save £3.5million through greater devolution of more services locally." This follows the handing of the running of public lavatories to local councils.
Further savings of £7.8million will come from 'a new commercial strategy' which, if approved, will see 'an overall approach to greater trading, income generation and commercial challenge of costs.'
One example of this is the more aggressive marketing of the Council contracting to take over back office functions for academy schools - a programme which has started already. This has a target of delivering £1.2million in savings by 2021-2022.