Bournemouth Borough Council have announced residents will face a council tax increase of nearly 6% as part of their new budget released this morning.
This means the new Band D council tax, which will be introduced in April, will cost £1,718.20, that’s £95.18 more than this year’s.
It was announced at last night’s meeting that the council will be adopting a nationwide tax increase of 2.99% for 2018/19, plus an extra 3% for adult social care in order to provide better services to older people.
Councillor John Beesley, Leader of the Council, said: “Across Dorset, we are projected to have almost 50% more over 80s by 2019 than the national average, making that pressure even more acute.”
Where does my council tax go?
The graph shows the difference in cost between this year’s (2017/18) Band D council tax and the new 5.99% increase for 2018/19.
Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset Police, and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue will benefit from the rise in council tax, with the council seeing the biggest increase in funding of £81.28.
Some of the extra council money will be injected in to adult and children’s social care which will amount to a combined spend of £4.5million on these services in 2018/19.
Sally Marks, a social worker at the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, a children’s safe-guarding referral service, said: “I know that we certainly need the money to improve the lives of the children and families that we work with.”
However, Marks is sceptical about the increase in funding: “unfortunately I’m not sure that starving Peter to feed Paul is the best answer, as we are likely to suffer in other areas.”
Councillor Beesley also mentioned that whilst increasing the adult social care budget overall, they will be giving an extra £300,000 specifically to help homelessness.
He said: “[this brings] the total spend on these vital services to £9.6m.”
This comes after the council came under fire for allegedly spending £3,650 on installing metal bars on ‘anti-homeless’ benches, which were then removed days later.