council tax bills to rise by 5.24% from April
residents will see their council tax bills going up by
5.24% from April.
For average Band D households the decision by Somerset County
Council means an overall increase of about £52 over the
Council tax has been frozen in Somerset for the past five years,
but a vote to approve the increase was carried during a vote by
councillors, with 31 in favour of the proposal, 20 against and
will be directed towards the Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA),
formed after the 2013-14 Somerset Levels floods.
Councillors also agreed to invest £75m on capital projects
for road-building, schools and economic growth.
council's leader, Conservative John Osman, said: "We're really
proud that we've been able to freeze council tax for so long.
When you've got to find £25m there are no easy decisions,
so reluctantly we've made this decision to put the council tax
up, but for that money residents will get flood prevention and
get their adults and children looked after."
But the leader of the opposition at Somerset County Council, Liberal
Democrat Ross Henley, voted against the tax rise and said: "They've
increased council tax by 5.24%, by far the biggest tax rise in
the country. No other council has even broken 4% and not only
that they've made massive cuts to mental health, autism budgets
and bus services as well."
The £7.8m in cuts include cutting £762,000 from the
vulnerable adult services budget, £500,000 from bus services
and £200,000 in library cuts. Some 90 posts will also go
at the council.
council has also agreed to support plans for devolution that would
give it more power to act on future strategies.