Council tax rise ‘cannot be ruled out’ next year

Coun Ben Curran, Sheffield Council cabinet member for finance

Coun Ben Curran, Sheffield Council cabinet member for finance

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Raising council tax in Sheffield next year ‘cannot be ruled out’ in the search to bridge a £61m spending gap.

Ruling Labour councillors said all options were open as they draw up the next budget.

After a public consultation meeting on Tuesday, Coun Ben Curran, cabinet member for finance, said there were currently no plans to increase council tax, which has been frozen for three years, and it was recognised that many people were already struggling financially.

But he added: “Everything is on the table, so its something that if people start to say that they think we should increase council tax that’s something we could take on board.”

Already the council has cut £240m over four years and shed 1,452 jobs.

The £61m savings to be found next year comprise £38m of government cuts and £23m of additional pressures, such as inflation and increased demand for services such as adult social care.

Sheffield says it will have to examine radically different ways of delivering local government services.