Bristol City Council considers 4% tax hike to balance its budget

Bristol City Council is considering increasing council tax by up to 4% as the authority reveals it needs to save a further £6.1m in order to plug its budget.

The city council is trying to address its future budget challenges and has launched a consultation into how much more residents are willing to pay as part of its 2019-20 budget planning, ranging from 0% to 4%.

Every 1% rise in council tax would raise approximately £2m to support the delivery of the council’s services, and the authority warns it is trying to continue to deliver the services valued by Bristol residents but that if council tax isn’t increased then new savings would have to be found.

The option to raise taxes by 4% would include 1% dedicated to help pay for adult social care through the social care precept, paying for social care services for the city’s most vulnerable, and the council has urged residents to consider the implications of each option.

Bristol City Council had to submit proposals agreed in February to make £41.9m in savings over the next four years, and has already made a total savings of £276m since 2010.

Marvin Rees, Bristol’s mayor, said: “Over the past two years we have put a lot of work into getting a tighter grip on the council’s finances so we can make progress with vital improvements needed in the city; more homes, more opportunities for our young people, more school places and a cleaner, healthier Bristol.

“During that time, we have had to make some tough decisions about where we spend our budgets to meet the needs of residents without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

“Getting here has not been easy and many challenges posed by government austerity, rising costs and increasing demand for services still lie ahead.”

The six-week consultation will run from 6 November to 17 December, after which the full council will consider the feedback before making a decision at its budget setting meetings in January and February.

Craig Cheney, deputy mayor for finance and governance, said: “We are conscious of the impact that council tax increases could have on people, which is why the feedback we receive is important and will have an impact on the budget setting discussions yet to come.

"I urge everyone in the city to share their thoughts on the different options on the table by 17 December.”

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Image credit - TheBristolNomad


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