Big council tax increase in Herts to ‘protect frontline services’

Cllr David Williams believes residents would rather pay more council tax in order to keep services running
Cllr David Williams believes residents would rather pay more council tax in order to keep services running
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Council tax is set to rise by nearly six per cent for residents in Hertfordshire to ‘help protect frontline services’.

Hertfordshire County Council has proposed the hike ahead of a further £22m cut from government for 2018/19.

And it will be up to taxpayers to foot the bill – though the council says that residents would prefer this than the loss of key services.

David Williams, leader of the county council and executive member for resources, said: “Our recent budget consultation showed that the majority of residents would rather see council tax increases than service reductions.

“While we would prefer not to place this extra burden on local council tax payers, we have a responsibility to do the best for all of our residents, particularly those most in need of our support.”

The proposed budget for 2018/19 would include two elements of increase: a three per cent rise specifically to support adult social care; and a second element of 2.99 per cent to help fund all services.

Cllr Williams added: “We will keep looking for different and innovative ways to deliver services in the most efficient way possible.

“For example, our new family centres will offer families all the support they previously received from children’s centres but we are also integrating the services of our health visitors and school nurse teams to provide a more joined up family service while reducing overall costs.”

The proposed budget will now be considered by various county council cabinet panels and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

A final recommendation will be made by Cabinet on February 19, for determination by the full county council the following day.

Share your views on the council proposals by emailing thegazette@jpress.co.uk