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Still Time to Comment on Leicestershire County Council’s ‘Toughest Budget’ Plan

Residents and businesses have until Wednesday (January 17) to give their views on Leicestershire County Council’s ‘toughest budget’.

People are being urged to feedback on proposals which include investing £127m more to meet growing demand, mainly in social care, and an extra £113m to cover inflation and the National Living Wage increase. The plan also forecasts a budget gap of £85m by 2028 after planned savings.

Leicester Time: Still Time to Comment on Leicestershire County Council's 'Toughest Budget' Plan
Picture: County Hall

A three per cent Council Tax increase for core services is planned for next year, generating £11m for front line services. A further £7m will be raised from a two per cent increase in the adult social care precept.

Spiralling social care prices, growing service demand and inflation are driving up costs for councils across the country and means that for the first time, it’s planned to use up to £12m of reserves to help balance the books next year.

Major redesigns of children’s and adults’ social care are already underway to bring down future demand and costs by millions-of-pounds, such as creating more new placements locally, rolling out new technology and helping more people live independently.

Controls around recruitment, procurement and other spend have also been tightened up to help bring down the council’s budget gap.

Councillor Lee Breckon, cabinet member for resources, said: “Simply put, councils are facing their toughest ever budget. And with growing costs and inflation vastly outstripping our income, we need consider what we can deliver and how we do it.

“For the first time ever, we’re planning to use reserves to balance the books next year. This is clearly not sustainable and we’ll have to look at other ways of making ends meet in the future. 

“This isn’t an easy message for our residents and business and I’d urge them to have their say.”

The consultation runs until midnight on 17 January – complete the survey at: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/budget

Leicester Time: Still Time to Comment on Leicestershire County Council's 'Toughest Budget' Plan