Government funding goes down, council tax goes up

Herts County Councillor Chris Hayward. PNL-160118-163042001
Herts County Councillor Chris Hayward. PNL-160118-163042001
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Council tax bills are set to go up across Hertfordshire from April, after council chiefs were told government funding will be slashed by £39million.

Herts County Council reached a final deal on the Local Government Finance Settlement on Tuesday.

It will mean next year’s government grant is cut from £119million to £78million.

And council bosses admit this will mean they need to make a 1.99 per cent increase to next year’s council tax bills.

County councillor Chris Hayward, portfolio holder for resources, agreed the deal with government ministers, which meant that Herts will receive £7.8million more funding than had been feared - but he admitted that residents would notice the squeeze.

He said: “We’ve saved £211million so far by stripping waste, getting better value from contracts and reducing the size of our workforce, particularly senior managers.

“But given the tremendous financial challenge we face, not least the rapidly escalating cost of adult social care, efficiencies can only go so far and some tough decisions lie ahead.

“Even with an increase in council tax, residents may start to see differences to the services we provide.”

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