Doncaster mayor Ros Jones: Council tax hike and jobs at risk after Government cuts more money

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Council tax is set to rise as Government ministers announced local authority bosses would receive less money to spend on services, Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has said. 

It’s understood the council is facing a £21.5 million budget black hole which has been put down to cuts in Government support and a rise in demand for adult and children’s social care.  

The mayor said Government officials had cut a further £8 million from the Revenue Support Grant for 2019/20.

The announcement means it’s likely more jobs will have to be cut but the final figures are unknown at this time. 

Mayor Jones confirmed council tax will rise but the final figure is still being worked out and it is not expected until the middle of January. 

Any rise in council tax will have to be approved by cabinet before a final vote at the meeting of the full council on Monday, March 4. 

Bosses can only raise council tax by a maximum of 5.99 per cent with three per cent ring-fenced for adult social care. 

But Doncaster decided against hike council tax to the maximum and instead increased it by four per cent for 2017/2018.

The directly-elected mayor hit out at Government for the ‘disastrous' Universal Credit roll out which was ‘driving people to food banks’ and cuts to policing, schools and the NHS had a 'serious knock-on effect’ for demand on services. 

She also asked Government to give English councils a fair share of funding adding Welsh and Scottish authorities had ‘£800 more per head’ due to their devolved administrations.

“I can understand the frustration of Doncaster people who are effectively paying more in to the pot and getting less service in return, but that is the stark reality of continued austerity for local councils,” Mayor Jones said.

“We have had austerity for 10 years, councils have faced the worst of the cuts in terms of government expenditure.

“We as a council have done a lot to innovate, think differently, save money and transform, but there is very little more than can be cut without seeing a significant reduction in services.

“The majority of council services are focused on the most vulnerable in society and those who are in most need. It is a sorry state in today’s world when we are having to increase charges and council tax to ensure the most vulnerable in society are safe and looked after.”