8th Apr, 2020

Council tax hiked in latest budget as councillors promise cleaner streets

John Carlon 17th Feb, 2020

COVENTRY City Council is set to raise council tax by 3.9 per cent for 2020/21.

Road repairs and clean streets will be the priorities for councillors as they work towards the landmark City of Culture year, they say.

More money could be raised by installing more speed cameras around the city.

Plans to charge for parking at War Memorial Park have also been reviewed, with three hours free now recommended.

Ahead of the council budget on February 25, officers have recommended the 3.9 per cent council tax rise for residents, which includes a two per cent rise to go towards the costs of adult social care, as permitted by the government.

Coun John Mutton, cabinet member for resources, said the council had consulted on its budget proposals.

He said: “We have identified ways to maximise income collection and target services effectively without having any unnecessary impact on frontline services.

“We have had confirmation that some areas of national funding reductions are being delayed so we believe it is right to ensure this funding should go on a city-wide clean-up ahead of the UK City of Culture, and on protecting road repair budgets.

“We are also going to alter plans to charge for parking at the Memorial Park. I believe that motorists should get three hours free parking so that park users can get full enjoyment of the venue while discouraging train passengers from using the Memorial Park car park all day.

“We also listened to residents who were concerned about the potential impact that switching off areas of street lighting may have and have asked officers to relook at this proposal.”

Coun Mutton also announced a new proposal for the council to develop its plans to tackle climate change and extend the amount of speed enforcement cameras in areas of the city. Cameras are currently in place on Ansty Road, London Road, Henley Road and Binley Road.

He said: “We are confident of balancing the budget in 2020/21. We have also listened to feedback from local people.

“Longer term the pressures on adult social care and children’s services will increase and although we are attempting to protect the most vulnerable in our budget plans this will get more and more difficult in future years.”

He raised worries over a possible £19million deficit still hanging over the local authority, as the government postponed further cuts to its grant.

Record homelessness is also increasing costs pressure on the council.

Coun Mutton added: “We will continue to prioritise funding on our city’s most vulnerable, including those who are homeless. That is the right thing to do.

“Part of the work of finance officers and myself is to identify future pressures and invest in priority areas.

“I’m hoping we will also get support for the budget from councillors to invest £40million in capital assets which could generate £2.5million per year.”

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