Posted on Wednesday 6th January 2021
Continued investment in Superfast Broadband is one part of the proposed 2021/22 Budget commitment to Staffordshire's businesses and communities.
Planned investment to get businesses and communities moving again has been backed by Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet.
At the same time the local authority is proposing record-breaking expenditure of almost £350 million on social care for vulnerable adults and children.
Speaking after today’s Cabinet meeting discussed the proposed budget for 2021/22 Alan White, leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
With the imposition of the latest national lockdown, it’s more important than ever that we carry on doing all we can to help Staffordshire’s businesses and communities get moving again when the opportunity arises.
We will invest in business sites, superfast broadband, roads and schools to support existing businesses and lay the foundations for new ones, while helping young people get a good education.”
Staffordshire County Council is still talking to partners about its proposed budget for the next financial year before making a final recommendation later this month.
Other investment for 2021/22 includes:
- continuing localised support for business with emergency grants, start-up support and rent relief at Enterprise Centres;
- working with the Federation of Small Businesses to provide free ‘back office’ support for a year;
- continuing to provide adult retraining opportunities;
- completion of the Stafford Western Bypass;
- completion of the i54 business park extension;
- continuation of the Lichfield Southern Bypass;
- rolling replacement of conventional bulbs in street lights with LED lighting to save energy and cut costs;
- additional expenditure on the roads budget to deal with winter weather and more money to tackle weeds and kerbside maintenance;
- creation of cycleways and improvements for pedestrians in urban areas;
- opening a new primary school in Tamworth and work beginning on two new schools in Uttoxeter and Fradley.
The proposed council tax increase of 4.99 per cent comprises a 1.99 per cent general increase and three per cent ringfenced for social care. This year, Staffordshire has the third lowest county council tax in England and, if approved, this increase equals £1.24 a week for a Band D property.
Alan White said:
The fact that the provision of social care takes up approximately two-thirds of the proposed budget for next year is a long-running cause for concern.
The growing demand in this sector is a national challenge rather than a local one and we need central Government to take the lead in finding sustainable long-term solutions.”