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ON THE UP: Hertfordshire council tax to rise by 4.99 per cent again

 Published on: 15th February 2024   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has come under fire for raising council tax and “hoarding” government investment.

Council tax will raise by 4.99 per cent this April, the same as last year, as HCC budget a spend of £1.1billion in the coming financial year.

The Integrated Plan, which was agreed to at a full council meeting on Tuesday, February 13, outlined investments in services including nearly £500million to be spent supporting 30,000 adults to “live well for longer”, and just over £250million to be spent on children’s services.

The plan comes weeks after the government announced they would be supporting councils nationwide with an additional £600million to help them to deliver key services, with HCC receiving £10million.

Councillor Richard Roberts, Leader of HCC, said: “The recent announcement of an extra £10million from government is very welcome, and we’ll continue to lobby government for additional funds, particularly in relation to supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities where we continue to be significantly under-funded compared to other councils, and I want to assure residents that we’ll also do everything we can to alleviate our tax burden on you by making ourselves as streamlined and efficient as possible.”

The county’s Liberal Democrats have lambasted the Conservative-led council for not immediately dipping into the government funding and instead raising council tax for 2024/25.

The Lib Dems proposed spending £5.8million of the extra funding on services immediately.

Councillor Steve Jarvis, Hertfordshire Liberal Democrat leader, said: “At a time when all councils are struggling for cash, this extra £10million of government funding for Hertfordshire was a golden opportunity to improve residents’ lives without affecting council tax.

“It could and should have been used to help our most deserving children, through additional special school places, as well as boosting the environment, making roads safer, and protecting funding for Hertfordshire’s brilliant local charities and community groups.”

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