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Have your say on County Council budget proposals for 2021/22

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Have your say on Oxfordshire County Council initial budget proposals for 2021/22

On 9 February 2021, Oxfordshire County Council will meet to agree its budget. The council is inviting you to have your say on the County Council initial budget proposals for 2021/22 between 16 December and 13 January by visiting oxfordshire.gov.uk/budgetconsultation.

Highlights from the budget.

Next year and beyond, the council is committing to strengthening its approach towards climate action, an enhanced focus on addressing inequality, developing its youth offer and delivering its COVID-19 recovery strategy.

A total of £19.6m of savings are being proposed in total across all services. £14.6m of these savings were already planned and are centred on the transformation of services to make them more efficient while protecting the frontline.

The council is also looking to invest in services that will have a positive long-term impact on local communities. The budget proposals reflect this with more than £25m of additional funding included. Some of this funding has been agreed previously, but £9.5m of this is newly proposed for 2021/22 to help meet additional demands, including within adult social care.

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Protecting those in need will always be our priority. Budget pressures mean we will have to continue to find ways to save money while protecting frontline services – moving services online, where appropriate, and generating more income.”

Oxfordshire County Council provides 80 per cent of the local government services by expenditure, including adult and children’s social care, some education services, fire and rescue, libraries and museums, roads, trading standards, waste disposal and recycling.

In 2020/21, over 60 per cent of the county council’s funding for services came directly from council tax, with the rest coming from charging for services and government grants. The two biggest areas of spend were adult and children’s social care at 53% of gross expenditure budget, and education and learning at 14% gross expenditure budget.

Proposed council tax increase for 2021/22

In late November, the government announced it would once again give councils the flexibility to raise council tax by an additional three per cent (a precept) over the next two years to help pay for adult social care services. This is on top of a maximum of 1.99 per cent ‘core’ council tax that can be charged.

Oxfordshire County Council is proposing to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent – the maximum amount the government will currently allow. They would also like to know what you think of the option of an additional increase, up to 3 per cent, for adult social care.

Visit oxfordshire.gov.uk/budgetconsultation to have your say on the County Council initial budget proposals for 2021/22.

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