Cambridgeshire: Council Reveals Budget

25 January 2012, 15:43 | Updated: 25 January 2012, 16:51

Plans to raise council tax by 2.95% are included in Cambridgeshire County Council's latest budget.

The increase would cost the average family household around an extra £30 a year.

The £849,000,000 budget for the next year includes £43,000,000 worth of savings following reduced government funding for councils.

It also includes plans to cut up to 154 full time jobs at the council.

Other key proposals in the budget include:

  • £90,000,000 investment over five years to improve Cambridgeshire's roads 
  • £77,000,000 on Children's Services - mainly towards more school places
  • £20,000,000 investment in super-fast broadband in Cambridgeshire
  • £26,000,000 on "vital transport measures such as Chesterton Station"
  • £29,000,000 to spend on a new link road / bypass in Ely.
According to Cambridgeshire County Council, smaller sums of cash will also be spent on:
  • Securing library services and transforming them to provide a twenty first century service. 
  • Providing an additional £100,000 for support to carers and a further increase in funding for the voluntary and community organisations such as the Care Network, to support volunteering
  • Protecting school crossing patrols
  • Promoting cycle training in schools so it will be free at point of use
  • Continuing the U project which helps year 11 pupils progress into education, employment or training.

Councillor Nick Clarke, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "At the heart of this budget is the desire to do what is right for Cambridgeshire and our communities while meeting the challenging savings targets.

We have listened closely to what residents have said and our proposals reflect our drive to promote Cambridgeshire as a place which is open for business and can lead UK PLC to recovery while providing local jobs and prosperity.

We are protecting the most vulnerable in our society by investing more in adult social care while working harder to drive down savings and work better with partners to improve the quality of life and health for residents. 

We are pushing forward investment in roads and much needed major transport infrastructure to meet the growing demands of the County and keep business and residents moving. 

At the same time we are saving libraries and finding ways to better provide community transport.

But it is a major challenge to make savings whilst investing where residents want us to.

That is why we have listened to residents who said they would be prepared to pay more to protect services. Putting up Council Tax is right for Cambridgeshire.

The alternative is a massive multi-million funding hole to fill in the future which would no doubt hit our most vulnerable residents."

The proposed budget will be discussed by councillors and must be ratified before it is approved.

The County Council cabinet will meet to discuss the proposals on Tuesday the 31st of January.

The full Council will then meet on the 21st of February, which is when the final budget will be approved, subject to any amendments.