Birmingham City Council will increase investment in housing, social care and cleaner, greener streets despite having to make a further £53 million in cuts for the 2018/19 budget.
And, in response to the budget consultation, residents face a lower than anticipated council tax increase. The proposed 2018/19 budget will be taken to Cabinet on 13 February, with changes to the original proposals including:
- Reducing the Council Tax increase to 3.99%, including 1% through the social care precept
- No increase to burial and cremation fees
- No longer proceeding with plans to charge for library book reservations
The proposed budget also includes additional investment of £70.7 million in 2018/19, including £30.4 million for adult social care and a £468 million Council Housing Capital Programme over the next four years, including £196 million for new homes and regeneration. There are also proposals to invest £0.2 million in measures to tackle fly-posting across the city.
Council Leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “We have listened and, even at a time of continuing Government cuts, we are investing in the services that matter most to the people of Birmingham.
“It’s also clear that many households are struggling with the increased cost of living, so the council tax increase will now be lower than the one we consulted on.
“Government funding for the services that people across Birmingham rely on has been cut by almost £650 million since 2010 and sadly we anticipate having to make further cuts of £123 million by 2021/22.
“We have to make cuts of £53 million for 2018/19 and inevitably that has meant having to make some difficult decisions.
“Those decisions have been informed by the people of this city and I would like to thank everyone who took time to have a say in our consultation.”
The budget will now be taken to Cabinet on 13 February, before going to Full Council on 27 February for final approval. The Cabinet report and draft budget document can be read here.