5 things to know about the Kirklees budget meeting 2018
This Wednesday (14 Feb 2018) is our annual Kirklees Council budget council meeting, where politicians from all parties get together to decide where the money will be spent over the next 2 years.
But how are the decisions made? What goes on at the meeting? And why is council tax in Kirklees going up?
The decisions made at this meeting have an impact on everyone in Kirklees, but we know that the process in making them and the results might seem a bit confusing. So we’ve pulled together 5 things to know about the meeting and some of the things that will happen as a result.
1. It’s all public
It’s a full council meeting which means all 69 councillors, including the ones that represent your local area, are invited. It starts at 5.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall and the public can come along too. We also live stream the meetings and tweet live too.
2. It will take a while for everyone to agree
Cabinet members have already created the proposed budget and this is what everyone will be talking about at the meeting. The video below tells you a bit more:
All political parties will have the chance to say what they think about the proposed budget and recommend changes. Because different parties have different views about where money should be spent there can be a bit of debate and some negotiating on what to keep in the plan and what to take out. If you’re watching on the webcast and see everyone leave the room that’s when each party will go for a group discussion before they take a final vote.
3. Your council tax is decided at this meeting
We all know that council tax is set to rise in Kirklees this year, and the recommendation is that it goes up by 6%. This will cost the average household* just over £5 extra a month and will help to pay for increased costs of social care and cope with reduced grant from government. Unfortunately increasing the cost of council tax doesn’t mean that residents will get more for their money; we have to do it as our grant from government reduces.
4. Government funding is decreasing
We’re losing £25m of revenue support and other grant funding over the next 2 years. The Government has told us that how we are funded has to change. This year council tax makes up £159 million (54%) of our funding – this includes £7m which is specifically to support adult social care services (it’s called the adult social care precept). The rest comes from business rates (25%) , government grants (17%) and a one-off contribution from reserves (11%). By 2019/20 our government funding will have dropped significantly and overall we’ll have a further £25m less to spend compared to now. This also means that the Council is having to rely much more on other available funding sources i.e. council tax and business rates.
5. A 6% council tax rise will generate approximately £9.7 million in 2018/19
If the councillors all agree to the proposed 6% increase it will be bring in an additional £9.7 million to the budget. Whatever increase is finally agreed, 3% is just for adult social care.
Keep up to date with the budget meeting:
*Based on Band A, which is what majority of houses in Kirklees are in.