Cheshire west Conservatives tonight propose a freeze on Council Tax and oppose Labour’s planned hike of 1.99% for the second year in a row.
They are also suggesting faster growth in spending on care for the elderly to improve services and reduce long term costs through full use of the adult social care precept which is offered to Council by Government.
The Conservatives propose to slow down spending on IT replacement schemes, postpone a budget for inequality that has no identified projects and use an unexpected government grant to avoid the plans to raise council tax by £52.91 on a Band D property.
Within a fully costed set of measures are plans to limit pay increases for council staff to the national minimum wage and stop the subsidy to the Unison union by no longer paying the salaries of 2 full time union reps.
Commenting on the proposed amendment to the Budget proposal to be debated at tonight’s Budget Council meeting in Winsford, leader of the Conservative group , Frodsham Cllr Lynn Riley said: “The Conservatives will always look for ways to keep taxes down as even small rises hit those just about managing the hardest. Our proposed changes cut spending on buildings and computers and things that matter to the Council so that we can do what 3 out of every 4 councils is doing and put extra money into caring for our older and most vulnerable residents.
Presenting the proposed changes, Shadow cabinet Member for legal and Finance, Handbridge Park councillor Neil Sullivan added” We oppose putting up council Tax to reward Council staff whilst penalising hard working people and retired folk struggling to get by on modest means. The Labour group use public money inefficiently whilst failing to deliver key services to the standard needed. They have a poor record of delayed discharges from hospital which is adding to the cost pressures and bed blocking in the NHS. We think they need to focus efforts and resource to solve this problem urgently.”
Labour plans to put the Council tax up by 3.99%, 2% for Adult Social Care and 1.99% for general expenditure. The Conservatives believe any additional monies should go towards Adult Social Care and are therefore proposing a 3% rise instead, all of which will go towards Adult Social Care. This will boost the funding towards Adult Social Care in Cheshire West, whilst representing a lower increase in Council Tax than that proposed by Labour.