Budget 2020/21: Trafford says it must increase council tax by 3.99% or there will be “unsufficient funding” for services

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Trafford Council is proposing to increase council tax by 3.99% in order to meet a budget gap next year which it says would otherwise mean there was “insufficient funding” to pay for its services.

The local authority has revealed its budget for the 2020/21 financial year and includes “significant” levels of new investment in social care services and other infrastructure.

But it says it must act to close the budget gap of £18.5m – up from £13.4m this year – otherwise services will be impacted.

The council tax increase comprises a 1.99% rise in the “relevant basic amount” and a further 2% increase for the adult social care precept.

That would see the council tax for a typical Band D property rise from £1567.47 to £1,643.03.

It said that if council tax was not increased, further savings of £3.98m would have to be identified over the “significant level of savings” already identified in the report.

Overall, Trafford is planning to spend £175.2m, including £15.4m for demand-led services for children and adults and £5.1m for targeted support for vulnerable residents.

Spending on major highways and other key infrastructure improvements will be £14.9m with a further £4.8m on cycling and walking schemes.

Other capital expenditure plans include £15m for school buildings, £1.2m for outdoor sports, improvements to green spaces and tree planting, £4.3m for town centre public realm works and £0.3m for town centre and business loans.

Trafford Council Leader Andrew Western

Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of the Council and Green City Region Lead for Greater Manchester, said: “We continue to operate in very challenging financial circumstances, like other councils, and we are committed to improving the quality of our services and to meeting the changing needs of our residents and businesses.

“It’s vitally important that we protect vulnerable people while also making Trafford a better place, where everyone has a chance to succeed and has a voice so I am delighted that we have produced a budget that protects our front line services. For a second consecutive year, we can announce that there are no planned job losses or services to be scrapped in Trafford.

“Despite the proposed increase, our council tax will remain one of the lowest in the North West. We believe this is necessary to ensure our borough continues to boast thriving communities, with people starting well, living well and ageing well.”

The proposals will be discussed at a full meeting of the Council on Wednesday 19th February.

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