Posted on Wednesday 25th January 2023
Investment in sites such as Chatterley Valley West near Kidsgrove, pictured, will generate thousands of jobs.
Balancing the budget in difficult times while taking care of immediate responsibilities and making long-term economic investments, remain Staffordshire County Council’s priorities.
The authority is spending more than £100 million next year on school repairs and expansion, business infrastructure and highways.
For the first time ever, it is also budgeting more than £400 million to provide social care for the elderly and to support vulnerable children and young people.
Discussing its budget plans for 2023/24, Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Finance and Resources, said:
Local authorities cannot borrow to meet day-to-day running costs – we must balance our books no matter the effect of inflation, rising fuel and energy costs, or the increased demand for services, which amount to two-thirds of our annual budget.
We remain committed to helping those who need support now, while investing in creating the conditions that will allow Staffordshire’s economy to prosper in future.”
Since 2014 the Council’s £410 million Economic Growth Programme has delivered more than 11,000 jobs and enabled more than 4,500 houses to be built.
Significant planned expenditure includes:
- the £3.1 million Chatterley Valley West employment site near Kidsgrove, which will create up to 1,700 jobs;
- £40 million on public health projects, including diabetes-prevention, supporting good mental health in the young, and drug and alcohol addiction treatment;
- £5.8 million for the extension and refurbishment of Hawthorne House, Lichfield, to provide adult social care;
- building the major road junction to Pets at Home’s national distribution centre in Stafford, which will create 800 jobs;
- around £45 million for upgrading and refurbishing older school buildings, with extensions planned for schools in areas with growing populations;
- £50 million for the repair and maintenance of roads.
Ian Parry added:
People want to live in Staffordshire for many reasons, including its quality of life, good schools and wide range of affordable housing, but all that is underpinned by the creation and maintenance of good jobs.
By investing now in physical and digital infrastructure, such as highways, business parks and the fastest broadband, plus support for training and apprenticeship schemes, we are laying the groundwork for Staffordshire’s continued prosperity in the 2030s.”
In line with most other local authorities, Staffordshire County Council is proposing a 4.99 per cent council tax increase for 2023/24, comprising 2.99 per cent for general purposes and 2 per cent ringfenced for social care.
If approved by full Council, the annual increase for a Band D property would be the equivalent of £1.34 a week.