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Cabinet agrees recommendations for 2018/19 budget

Councillors in Poole will asked be support a sustainable and robust budget that prioritises investment in services for vulnerable people and protects important frontline services. 

At a meeting on Tuesday 6 February, Cabinet members agreed to recommend a package of measures to balance the council’s budget for local services in 2018/19. This includes a 2.99% core increase in Council Tax, plus a 3% rise permitted by the government to fund adult social care, which means an overall rise of 5.99%.      

The recommended increase in Council Tax is only the third rise in eight years in Poole. 

By 2020, government funding for local services in Poole will have reduced by £36m a year compared with 2010. The reduction in government funding coupled with a rising demand for services means the council must find savings of £20.5 million over the next three years. 

Cllr May Haines, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance, Borough of Poole, said: "We continue to prioritise our spending where it matters most - on caring for the most vulnerable members of our community – and we remain committed to protecting frontline services as much as we possibly can.

Cllr May Haines

"We have frozen Council Tax bills for Poole residents in five of the past seven years. When inflation is taken into account, this is the equivalent of a 10% reduction over the seven years and will mean Poole will continue to have the lowest Council Tax in Dorset, a position it has now held for 17 years.

“We have a clear strategy aimed at putting the council’s budget on a sustainable footing without having to rely on our financial reserves. Our commitment to planning ahead for when the government withdraws all its core funding for our local services in 2019 means we are in a position to propose a balanced budget for the next 12 months with no use of reserves. While we still face major financial pressures over the next three years, we feel that our strategy for sustainable budgeting will enable us to deal with this challenge.” 

Cabinet members are also recommending no increase to members allowances for 2018/19.

Councillors will debate Council Tax for 2018/19 at the annual budget setting meeting of Full Council on Tuesday 20 February. 

Read the full Cabinet report on the council's budget and Council Tax for 2018/19

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