Lowest council-tax rise for five years approved by Derbyshire County Council

Derbyshire County Council leader Coun Barry Lewis, who says he is happy with extra funding from the government.
Derbyshire County Council leader Coun Barry Lewis, who says he is happy with extra funding from the government.

The lowest increase in council tax for five years has been approved by Derbyshire County Council.

At two per cent, the rise will be used exclusively for services on older people, the council promises.

By making no additional increase for other services, the rise is the lowest in the country, compared to similar authorities that have agreed their budgets.

The council-tax proposal was agreed at a meeting of the full council, along with the authority’s budget for 2020/21 of £560.2 million.

That budget is eight per cent higher than last year after extra government funding boosts, which include money for children’s and adult care services. It equates to the council’s biggest budget rise since 1997.

Coun Barry Lewis, leader of the council, said: “In the past year, we have welcomed significant extra funding from the government, so we are in a much more solid and positive financial position.

“The strong budget allows us to deliver an ambitious plan for Derbyshire, including protecting high-quality, vital services, growing our economy, bringing new investments to the county and working to ensure Derbyshire is a post-Brexit success story.”

Despite the financial support from the government, the council says it still needs more to meet the ever-increasing demands on its social care services.

However, Coun Lewis added: “As an enterprising council, we can still do a lot with the budget we have, especially if we work more closely with our colleagues in district and borough councils, and our communities, which is our aim.”