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Why Cornwall could face a huge council tax hike

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 5:37am 15th November 2017 (Updated 8:08am 15th November 2017)

Cornwall could be facing one of the biggest council tax hikes in the country.

A rise of almost 5% is on the cards; 1.99% in direct Council Tax and 3% to help fund adult social care.

It comes after Pirate FM told you the council needs to save an extra 75 million pounds over four years.

Officials have warned they will have to make "difficult decisions" and it is being blamed on stuff like Brexit, the pressure to fund social care and getting less cash from the government.

The final decision on the draft budget plan is due in February, but officials are expected to agree on a consultation on Wednesday.

Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council, Julian German, said: "Like other local authorities across the country, Cornwall Council is facing less funding from central Government, as well as increased pressure as a result of rising demand for services. This means that despite the £300 million savings we have already made, we still have considerable savings to find in the years to come.

"The main grant we receive from central government will be significantly reduced by 2019/20, so we need to find additional ways to fund services. At the same time, demand for our services continues to rise year on year, particularly those services for vulnerable children and adults.

"Cornwall Council provides a huge range of essential services to the people of Cornwall. When times are tough, it is more important than ever to spend resources wisely.

"Each year we prioritise spending on services that make sure children and young people get the best start in life, that communities feel the benefit of economic growth and that support vulnerable residents to live independently.

"To continue to do this we need to make difficult decisions about council tax and we have to look at reducing services".

Councillor German said the Council would continue to look for ways to improve services, making them more efficient and prioritising frontline services.

"The challenges we face, while difficult, are something we can address with community support. Over the past few years you have told us what you thought about our proposals for savings. Your feedback, thoughts and suggestions have informed the decisions about the budget we have set each year.

"Our aspiration for the future is for people, organisations and businesses to work together to ensure that residents continue to receive the services they need".

Cornwall Council runs a large number of services including schools, social services, rubbish collection, roads, planning, trading standards, fire and rescue and more.

The draft budget for 2018-2022 will be discussed by the Cornwall Council Cabinet on Wednesday 15th November.

Members of the public can attend the meeting or watch the webcast - the webcast will be available from 10am on Wednesday 15th November here.

After the meeting, public feedback will be sought on the budget proposals until the end of the year.

The final budget is submitted to full Council for decision in February 2018.

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