Last few days of the budget consultation

There are just a few days left for residents in Dudley borough to have their say on a series of budget proposals at Dudley Council.

More than 1,300 people have already completed the online consultation on the budget proposals for the next 12 months.

Dudley Council is planning to increase the council tax rate by 4.99 per cent and both main political party leaders are in agreement this increase has to be put in place given Dudley’s relatively low rate of council tax.

It comes as the authority takes a tougher grip on its finances and intense scrutiny from a recent Local Government Association peer review and the annual audit.

A range of precautionary measures were introduced, including spending controls, to safeguard budgets amid growing pressures and to help avoid the council going bankrupt.

An independent Improvement and Assurance Board is working to address the financial pressures including forecasts which show the £21 million in the council’s reserves will fall to an unsustainable level next year.

However, the council still needs to spend to provide services for local people. There are a number of financial pledges as part of 2024/5 budget particularly for adult social care and children’s services, which are set to receive £40 million, after warning of combined £12 million pressure next year.

But the council also needs to raise funds to be able to set a sustainable budget whilst protecting essential services. If approved by council next month (March), the basic rate of council tax will rise by 2.99 per cent and there will also be a 2 per cent increase which will go directly to adult social care.

The total 4.99 per cent increase equates to £1.17 increase per week for a typical Band B property. Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

“We’ve had a good response so far from people but there is still time for others to come forward and let us know what they think about these proposals."

The budget consultation runs until February 16th and is available online.


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