Cheshire East approves budget with maximum council tax increase


Cheshire East Council has voted to approve its budget plan for 2018-19 at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, 22nd February.

As a result Council Tax will increase by 5.99 per cent in the next financial year, the maximum increase a Council is allowed to make without holding a local referendum.

This will add £1.39 per week to the average household Council Tax bill and a Band D property bill will rise from £1,324.92 to £1,404.28 – representing an increase of £1.53 per week.

The council also voted to allocate an additional £2m for highways from capital reserves, in response to concerns over the condition of some of the borough's roads, and a further £150,000 for reactive repairs (from the revenue budget).

Additionally, £2m has been earmarked from the New Homes Bonus scheme to be used in our communities, via a method under consideration.

The Council says the budget will deliver balanced finances in 2018-19, with net revenue spending of £268.8m and total capital investment of £326.1m identified over the next three years. A total of £197m is estimated to be spent over the next three years on maintaining and improving our highways network.

The budget-setting meeting of council took place against a challenging national context of an overall public sector deficit, which is being partly met by big reductions in government grants to councils, and rising demand for both adult social care and children in care.

For Cheshire East, this means expected reductions of central government grants, inflationary costs and rising demand totalling more than £70m over the next three years.

Jan Willis, Cheshire East Council's interim executive director of corporate services, said: "These financial reports and budget outline how the council has continued to build on the solid achievements of recent years and continues to maintain robust financial health.

"The year ahead presents a number of challenges for all UK local authorities, as increasing demand in care services for children and adults, plus other pressures, are compounded by falls in government funding – a funding reduction totalling £14.8m this year for Cheshire East and set to fall by a further £11.9m in 2018/19.

"In Cheshire East, the number of residents receiving care and support from adult social care is increasing by four per cent a year and the number of children in social care placements has increased by 17 per cent in the last year, in line with other councils.

"The council's net expenditure on adult social care services was almost £100m in 2016/17, which is three-times the spending on any other service area. This council will continue to prioritise services for vulnerable people, despite the financial challenges. However, this means other services will need to deliver savings."

Cheshire East Council, Council Tax


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Friday 23rd February 2018 at 4:52 pm
No point in repeating the financial misgivings and misconduct and miscreant conduct that remains under law enforcement investigation of this shower again ... Its well documented on these pages.... A raise above inflation , above explanation and above common sense , when they cant get their own house in order, 4 % closely followed by this 6 %.. CEC really are not value for money.
They fritter and waste our MILLIONS on hair brained schemes and flawed models and we the residents and tax payers are left to foot the ever increasing bill for their incompetence . Without checking i can imagine only the independents and few common sense Labour and Cons voted against this whilst the lemming majority nodded it through with no shame, no care, no consideration. Remember this folks come the next election.Absolutely shameful... Merge East and West ASAP !
Marc Staples
Saturday 24th February 2018 at 8:57 pm
As a result Council Tax will increase by 5.99 per cent in the next financial year, the maximum increase a Council is allowed to make without holding a local referendum.

Something tells me that they know what the referendum result would be!

How can it be 5.99 per cent when inflation is half that ?

I think we campaign for 6 per cent and get rid of this shower
Dave Cash
Sunday 25th February 2018 at 2:34 am
So expect the total average household C-Tax bill to rise to around £2/wk once the Police & Fire precepts are included.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 25th February 2018 at 10:20 am
Police precept 7.3%.
Tim George
Sunday 25th February 2018 at 6:45 pm
I'm very pleased to pay this increase in council tax and now look forward to all the horrendous pot holes in the local area being repaired before any serious damage to cars.
Dave Cash
Monday 26th February 2018 at 1:05 am
Tim, you little option to pay your C-Tax for next year but you can have no expectation of CEC repairing all Borough pot holes from proceeds in the same time period.
Jonathan Follows
Monday 26th February 2018 at 1:34 pm
Some real figures derived from my actual council tax bills (including all the "precepts") since my first full year 2008-9:

2018-19 bill +6% on previous year, +21% over ten years. Of course heavily skewed by recent increases, my 2015-16 bill was only +5% over seven years, the following years were then +9%, +14% and +21% compared with my 2008-9 "baseline".

In the same period, so from 2008 to date:

Average earnings (nominal, in other words not adjusted for inflation): +17%
CPI inflation: +22%
RPI inflation: +31%
Nick Jones
Monday 26th February 2018 at 2:02 pm
Thanks Jon, Your stats add a little more perspective to this outrageous imposition we cannot prevent.

I just wonder what the similar cumulative total of Fiscal waste by CEC over this same period has been, it's multi Millions no doubt certainly equivalent to the debt of some third world countries I suggest .

How strange CEC never want to demonstrate prudence, fiscal restraint, and remove unnecessary duplication. The sooner East and West is merged the better . We really cant afford for these bungling CEC incompetents to remain in post a minute longer.
Steven Kingsby
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 1:14 pm
Obviously the millions of pounds given to them in grants for all the new houses swamping the area is not enough for them. They must be using it to repair the roads, he he.
Peter Croome
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 5:41 pm
Jan Willis says:-

"These financial reports and budget outline how the Council continued to build on the solid achievements of recent years and continues to maintain robust financial health".

So plenty of funds to pay suspended members and no danger of reduction in pensions etc. for the "top guns".

Meanwhile Wilmslow centre is becoming a ghost town, soon no doubt Hoopers will sit in regal isolation amongst the empty units.

Perhaps Cheshire East should have an away day at East Hampshire Council [paid for by us of course] to learn how to run a grown up organisation.
Terry Bowes
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 6:18 pm
If I remember the guy in East Hampshire has retired. It would be well worth paying him a small fortune to come up here and show this shower how to do the job!!
Peter Davenport
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 8:46 pm
Dear All
I see the subject of pot holes has arisen again.
What I had hoped for, was a week of minus 15 degrees C, and watch all the recent "pot hole repair" (sic) arise. They must be experts, who do the work, because I notice the white markings for them to be repaired, and some nearby much bigger ones missed totally for repair, and then see the same pot holes repaired again and again etc. I have seen the same holes repeatedly repaired less than a year between them. So much for the brains at CEC,
Friday 2nd March 2018 at 8:58 am
RE references to East Hampshire Council - the fact is they had it easy - because it doesn't include Basingstoke and Dean, where most of the houses have been directed to since the 1960's. Anyone who has been to Basingstoke knows that it is like entering the first circle of hell.
Peter Croome
Friday 2nd March 2018 at 4:36 pm
It is obvious from the National Press coverage that East Hampshire Council is a Council to try and emulate. I'm sure you can find comparisons with Basingstoke in Cheshire East.
Friday 2nd March 2018 at 6:29 pm
Peter - there is one big difference. In Basingstoke there is a roundabout every few hundred yards to keep the traffic flowing. Cheshire East has not yet reached that madness, - but give them time....
Paul Roue
Saturday 3rd March 2018 at 1:16 am
Hello Peter Croome,

You are concerned that Wilmslow is slowly becoming a ghost town as more businesses fail. Many other people with good memories are similarly worried.

It's already on record that both Wilmslow & Handforth town centres are already seriously under trading.

So, unless Cheshire East and Wilmslow Town council work together & pro-actively attract business and shoppers into both towns, then there's a retail disaster waiting to happen.

And yet on the other hand, Cheshire East Planning seem to be "hell bent " on changing the local Summerfields Village shopping parade up the A34 into an 'out of town retail centre' with one of tge biggest Lidls in the UK.

This will draw shoppers away and have an adverse impact on the vitality of Wilmslow & Handforth town centres. To make matters worse Lidl's proposals will also remove the community's leisure & recreational facilities by turning it over to major retail, forever.

And yet we are told that this is all for wider aisles to buy an 'identical range of goods '(apparently) customer loos, improved staff accomodation & 'an expansion of the bakery product lines.' Where's the economic sense of that ?

For the sake of both Wilmslow & Handforth town centres, let's hope that when Cheshire East Northern Planning Committee members reconvene for the third time, they see the application for what it really is and reject the proposals for good.


Paul Roue