Derby councillors met last night to agree the authority’s budget for the next three years, together with a 4.99 per cent increase in Council Tax.
Reports considered included the General Fund Revenue Budget, which funds the day-to-day running of services, and the Capital Budget, which is used to pay for one-off projects.
Also on the agenda was a proposal to increase Council Tax by 4.99 per cent, comprising of a 1.99 per cent increase from the Council and a further 3 per cent Government-backed levy in response to the national crisis in funding for adult social care.
Taking into account Derby City Council charges, fire and police precepts 2017/18 Council Tax bills for 2017/18 will therefore display an increase of 4.5 per cent.
The budget, which had been recommended to Council at a meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 15th February, was presented by the Leader of the authority, Councillor Ranjit Banwait.
In his speech, Councillor Banwait said that the budget ‘looks beyond our immediate financial challenges to a more prosperous future for Derby’, but added that ‘tough decisions are needed once more’ as the authority is required to make another £28.4 million of savings over the next three years.
Amongst a series of eye-catching commitments made in his speech, Councillor Banwait pledged to bring back the Darley Park Concert, deliver plans to transform the city centre and launch a Neighbourhood Charter that would guarantee ‘cleaner streets, more attractive parks and safer communities’.
Opposition Group Leaders were given first opportunity to respond and were critical of some of the spending decisions taken by the Labour administration, while the issue of Government funding was also raised by the UKIP Group Leader, Councillor Alan Graves.
The debate was then opened to the floor where councillors had the opportunity to propose amendments to the budget. Four amendments were considered, each of which were lost.
After almost four hours of contributions, the budget was agreed with Labour voting in favour of the proposals, the Conservatives abstaining and the Liberal Democrat and UKIP groups voting against.
Councillor Banwait’s budget speech is available to read on the Derby Newsroom.
The next meeting of Council is the Annual General Meeting, which is due to be held in two parts on Wednesday 24th May, 2017.
Published: Thursday 2nd March, 2017.