5 Things you need to know about the 2019 Budget Council meeting
Wednesday 13 February 2019 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 12 months.
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 can 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.
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 on what to keep in the plan and what to take out. Once those members who wish to speak have finished there will be a vote, which will determine if the Cabinet’s budget proposal has been successful, or not.
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 2.99%. This will cost the average household* £2.43 extra a month and will help to pay for increasing demands and costs of social care, whilst also investing in our young people and rejuvenating our infrastructure.
*Based on Band A, which is what majority of houses in Kirklees are in.
4. Government funding is decreasing
Government funding is changing, and the Council is increasingly reliant on other available funding sources i.e. council tax and business rates. This year council tax makes up £179 million (61%) of our funding – this includes £12.5m which is specifically to support adult social care services (raised through the adult social care precept in previous years). Retained business rates income accounts for 26%, with the rest coming from government grants (11%) and a one-off contribution from the collection fund (2%).
5. A 2.99% council tax rise will generate approximately £5.2 million in 2019/20
If the councillors all agree to the proposed 2.99% increase, it will bring in an additional £5.2 million to the budget.