This month we had our First Full Council meeting of the year where we approved a number of important pieces of work including our four-year strategic plan, our budget for 2018/19 and an additional £5m investment in fixing potholes.
Next year will see the County Council delivering record spending on care of the most vulnerable in our communities and still balance the books, which is a huge achievement at a time when financial pressures remain immensely challenging. And as we move to becoming self-financing due to the loss of Government grants, it’s become increasingly important that we continue to grow our economy and support the creation of a more skilled workforce. This coupled with promoting the development of family homes will help make the council even more self-sufficient.
Some of the headlines from the four-year plan and budget include:
- Investing a record £310 million this year on care of the elderly, people with learning disabilities and children in our care
- Increasing county council tax by 5.95 per cent this year, which includes the Government’s 3 per cent ring-fenced precept to be spent on social care – equivalent to an overall rise of around £1.30 per week in county council tax on a Band D property
- Spending an extra £5m once again to tackle potholes in 2018/19
- Bidding to be part of the Government’s next round of business rates pilot, which could bring in an extra £10m to the county council
- Rolling out the Smart Staffordshire programme – maximising the use of digital technology to benefit residents and businesses
- Encouraging a programme of housing development to support growth and investment in the county
Over the last eight years we have achieved a huge amount. More people are in work, young people are leaving school and college with better qualifications, people are living longer, and tell us they feel safer and happier than ever before.
While we are proud of these achievements, the world around us is changing fast and there is so much more we want to do. We will continue to work with our local communities and all our partners to make sure we give the people we serve every opportunity to improve their lives.
Leader Staffordshire County Council