Councillor David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council, has praised the team responsible for producing “the most positive budget in my time as Leader”.
Speaking at Full Council as the 2022/23 Council budget was approved today (23 February), Cllr Fothergill said: “While other councils are dipping into reserves to fund day to day spending – in fact more than dipping in some cases – Somerset County Council has produced a balanced budget and is actually boosting reserves – helping to build solid foundations for the new unitary Somerset Council.”
Cllr Fothergill also highlighted substantial investment in supporting the county’s most vulnerable residents with a rise of 13% in investment for both Adult Social Care and Children’s Services
“There is an irony that the last ever budget for Somerset County Council is a budget that looks so strongly into the future,” Cllr Fothergill concluded.
Highlights of the 2022/23 budget include:
- An extra £18 million investment in Adults Social Care (a 13 per cent increase in funding)
- An extra £12 million invested in Children’s Services (also a 13 per cent increase)
- An additional £8.4 million identified to invest in schools
- £48 million invested in capital projects, including schools and roads.
- Major investment in supporting the commitment to create a zero carbon Somerset by 2030 with £7.8 million allocated to reduce energy use in council buildings and £1 million invested in the electrifying the council fleet and building a charging infrastructure in the county.
The County Council’s share of Council Tax is proposed to rise by a two per cent with a further one per cent rise under the social care precept. For a home rated Band D for Council Tax this is equivalent to a rise of 78p a week.