02:51PM, Tuesday 25 February 2020
Slough Borough Council has been left with ‘no other choice’ but to increase council tax to cover the rising cost of social care, a councillor has said.
Households will face a 3.84 per cent overall rise in overall council tax bills in April after councillors approved the proposed budget for 2020/21 at a meeting on Thursday.
Basic council tax, the amount paid directly to the local authority, will increase by 1 .84 per cent while the adult social care precept, which funds social care services for adults in Slough, will go up by 2 per cent.
Cllr Natasa Pantelic (Lab, Cippenham Meadows) told the meeting: “I didn’t get into politics to make people worse off and I understand the impact this will have on residents.
“But we are doing this to protect our most vulnerable people and our most-needed frontline services, there simply is no other choice.”
The increase means Band C properties in the borough will pay an extra £46.65 a year, about 90p a week, with yearly bills rising from £1,215.10 to £1,261.75.
The council’s adult social care budget will see £1.2 extra spending with £1.6 million additional funding going towards the Slough Children’s Services Trust.
More than 9000 trees will be planted across the borough as part of the council’s aim to combat climate change with £5 million also set to be spent on a new town centre youth hub.
Council leader James Swindlehurst said: “This budget invests in the infrastructure to support the regeneration of Slough, I’s working to improve our air quality, deliver sustainable transport and improve our local environment.”
Cllr Wayne Strutton (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill), leader of the opposition, told the meeting: “The budget I am not against but what I am against and believe is this council has to take into account is its ability to deliver it because it’s not willing to make the changes necessary in its governance to enable good debate.
“We have a council leader who feels he is above being questioned and given any advice.”
The Conservative Group proposed the introduction of artificial city trees to help tackle and monitor air pollution in the borough.
Opposition councillors also called for concessionary bus fare prices to be available from 6.30am to 9.30am but there amendment was voted down by the ruling Labour Group.
The full council meeting took place at the council’s headquarters in Windsor Road on Thursday, February 20.
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