Stockport Council sets its 2022/23 budget

Stockport Council has set its 2022/23 Revenue Budget following approval at the Budget Council meeting held on Thursday 24 February.

Councillor Elise Wilson, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This is a budget for our times. A budget to balance the immense pressures of today with the extraordinary opportunities of tomorrow. Every pound in every paragraph of this budget factored in the cost of living for the lowest paid and the most vulnerable. It’s why there is a project for veterans, an initiative I am particularly proud of; there is money to protect against future floods and cash to reduce anti-social behaviour. Most of all, It is a budget of fairness and of the future.

“No Council Leader wants to raise council tax, especially when our country is so unsettled. There is a cost of living crisis related to fuel, food and energy costs. Inflation is rising, and an increase in national insurance is on the way. Many will struggle. The choice between heating and eating is real. Every pound in every paragraph of this budget matters. Every pound, and that is why the rise will go towards tackling the increasing cost of adult social care across the borough, which impacts us all and is key to maintaining the welfare of our most vulnerable residents. That is what I mean when I say this is a budget about fairness.

“But it is also a budget for the future. A budget that thinks about our children and our grandchildren and the Stockport they will have many years from now. It is a budget full of investment to begin a new era for Stockport. Our town is on the brink of a once in a generation change. We are committed to transforming Stockport into a world-class place to spend time, creating jobs and learning opportunities. And above all, committed to the people of Stockport.”

The budget includes a 3.5% Council Tax increase. This is less than the 4.5% allowable increase which government expect the council to increase Council Tax by to ensure it has the resources needed to deliver core services such as adults social care, children social care, road maintenance and waste management. Setting a Council Tax increase lower than the government’s expected increase demonstrates the council’s commitment to balancing the impact of increases on taxpayers with the need for a robust and resilient budget to enable service transformation and ensure essential services continue to be delivered to Stockport residents.

The 3.5% rise is broken down as follows:

• 2.5% (or an additional £43.75 for Band D properties) relates to a rise in the Adult Social Care Precept. This will help to tackle the increasing costs as a result of increasing demand and other pressures in adult social care across the Borough.

• 1.00% (or an additional £17.50 for Band D properties) will go towards ensuring the council can continue to fund essential frontline services, and also make investments which will save or generate funds to prepare the council for a future of self-reliance and sustainability.

Added to this are a number of other Precepts which the council does not set but has to collect.

When added the total for the Band D Council Tax is £2,142.40.

This is broken down as follows:

• The general Council Tax to Stockport Council is £1,591.37
• A precept for Adult Social Care to Stockport Council is £219.78
• Mayoral Police and Crime Commissioner Precept for Greater Manchester is £228.30
• Mayoral General Precept (including Fire and Rescue Services) is £102.95

The Council Tax charges in 2022/23, which include the Mayoral Police and Crime Commissioner Precept for Greater Manchester and Mayoral General Precept (including Fire Services) by Council Tax Band are:

Band A: £1,428.26
Band B: £1,666.30
Band C: £1,904.35
Band D: £2,142.40
Band E: £2,618.48
Band F: £3,094.57
Band G: £3,570.66
Band H: £4,284.80

For more information, please visit the Stockport Council website.

Stockport Council is investing in many projects across the borough to improve the lives of residents. These projects include:

• £100,000 investment in digital inclusion programmes to help improve access to digital for all residents
• £150,000 investment to support mental health services
• £150,000 investment to help tackle anti-social behaviour by working with vulnerable young people
• £250,000 investment for district and local centres
• £100,000 for armed forces veterans
• £500,000 to improve flood defences as part of the Climate Action Strategy
• Investment in an LED streetlight programme to eliminate 2000 tonnes of CO2 from our atmosphere

Councillor Tom McGee, Deputy Leader at Stockport Council, said: “First of all I would like to thank everyone who got involved in helping to shape this budget by engaging with our consultations. The council has had to make some tough decisions on this budget. We know that a council tax increase will impact on residents, especially with the rising cost of living. However, we also know that as a council we need to deliver a robust and resilient budget in order to continue to deliver vital and high quality services to residents.”

“I hope that residents will find the raise fair and proportionate, and will understand the need to continue to fund vital services such as adult social care.”

At the Budget Council, it was also decided that the council will become a living wage employer. This means that, from April, every care worker in Stockport will be paid the real living wage of £9.90 per hour. In addition, every council worker will be paid the real living wage, and every contractor to the council will be paid enough to cover this. This demonstrates Stockport Council’s commitment to improving the lives of all of its staff and contractors.

Energy Rebate

The government has announced a support package available to help people with the rising costs of energy. One of these support measures is a £150 energy rebate for those households in bands A to D. The £150 energy rebate will be in the form of a separate payment to households outside of their Council Tax bill arrangements.

Council Tax bills will include a reference to the £150 energy rebate (required by amended legislation) and will be supported by a Government published information leaflet.

Council Officers are reviewing government guidance received on Wednesday 23rd February to understand how government intend the energy rebate to be administered by the council. Further detail will be provided on the council’s website.

Cost of Living Rebate

In addition, the council is to further support residents by providing a cost of living rebate of £15 to households in council tax bands A to D. This is to cover or partially cover the 1% increase in the general element of the council tax increase in 2022/23. This will support 82% of households to help with the rising cost of living being experienced by Stockport families. The £15 cost of living rebate will be in the form of a separate payment to households.

If you require further support over the coming weeks, please check to see if you can get help from our support funds or household support grants – for more information, please click here.