Bolton Council’s 2023/24 budget has been approved, confirming proposals to protect frontline services while minimising council tax increases as much as possible.
Last night (Feb 15) at a meeting of the full council, members agreed plans to raise general council tax by 1.99%.
Government rules allow local authorities to raise council tax by 2.99% without the need for a referendum.
Bolton’s rise is in addition to a 2% increase in the Adult Social Care Precept, which raises ringfenced funding for vital frontline services for the most vulnerable.
The changes equate to an extra 83p a week for Band A properties, which make up over 40% of Bolton’s total tax base.
Overall, the 2023/24 budget sets out plans to make £4.3m in savings across different parts of the council.
The savings target is lower than anticipated, thanks to a £0.9m contribution from local NHS partners towards the cost of public health and social services.
The proposals followed a public consultation held from December 12 last year to January 9, which received more than 600 responses.
In total, 72% of residents said they recognised that budget reductions needed to be made.
Bolton Council Leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said:
“No council wants to raise council tax, especially with the rising cost of living impacting so many.
“But these are also challenging times for councils, and I feel this budget strikes a balance by protecting vital services while also keeping tax increases as low as we can.
“I would like to thank our NHS partners, who recognise the value of our public health and social care services and have made a significant contribution to this year’s budget.”
Changes to council tax in Bolton are in addition to any changes made by the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
For 2023/24 the Mayoral General Precept, which includes fire services, will increase by £5 (4.86%).
The Mayoral Police and Crime Commissioner Precept will increase by £15 (6.57%).