The Council fee will increase by up to a maximum amount for thousands

The South Gloucestershire Council will have to loot its reserves to balance its accounts, despite higher tax rates and an ongoing spending reduction program.

The authority intends to raise the board's tax rates by 2.99% in 2019-2020 – the highest possible amount without triggering a public referendum.

The municipal tax will increase by more than £ 62 a year for a Band D property from £ 1,421.54 to £ 1,484.15.

It is expected to rise by £ 29.54 the following year, thanks to further expected tax increases of 1.99%.

But the planned increases are not enough to cover rising costs, mainly in the area of ​​social protection.

And a revised savings program for next year should save 1.5 million pounds less than expected.

Confronted with a black hole of more than 3 million pounds in its budget for 2019/20 and over 9 million pounds the following year, the board was forced to tap into its financial risk reserves.

According to the budget documents, it provides for a "one-off" use of its reserves to bridge the gap, spending a total of £ 12.43 million over two years.

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Beyond this, it forecasts deficits of £ 3.9 million in 2021/22 and £ 9.6 million in 2022/23.

The 2.99% increase in next year's council tax was supported by just over a third of residents during a public budget consultation held last year, according to council documents.

A tax increase of 1.99 per cent had roughly the same public support.

The conservative administration says its budget includes 71 million pounds of investment for schools, 35 million pounds for roads, tariff relief for more than 600 companies, and additional funding for vulnerable residents.

Toby Savage, Chairman of the Board, said: "One of the key priorities of this administration is to provide value to our residents and I think we are doing it.

"I am extremely proud that we have not only been able to balance the budget for the next two years – an impressive achievement in itself – but that we continue to focus on the quality of our services and the achievement of our goals. savings.

The union council leader, Pat Rooney, said the budget did not provide enough detail to show exactly how the savings would be realized.

The projected budget deficits are jeopardizing future public services, she added.

The budget for 2019/20 was approved by the Conservative Cabinet on February 4th.

The council must discuss the budget on February 13 before voting.

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