RESIDENTS across the county are facing a 5.9 per cent rise in their council tax after Wiltshire Council today published its budget proposals for the next financial year.

The council is facing pressures amounting to £52 million - £26m in lost government grants and £26m in local pressures.

Its proposals include plans for £25.5m in savings which could result in up to 100 posts being cut across council services. Wiltshire Council employs around 4,600 people.

The local authority declared today it will continue to deliver vital frontline services and invest in key areas despite facing an £18.5m cut in Government Settlement Funding Allocation from £72.3m to £53.8m.

At a special budget briefing, council officers said they faced a further loss of £6m due to the Government not continuing the Transitional Grant.

Due to the reduced funding and increased costs and service demands, savings of £25.5m have been proposed to balance the books.

From April, residents living in an average Band D property will face having to pay an extra 22p per day or £1.54 for their council services.

The council tax per Band D household is going up from £1,334.63 last time to £1,414.57 – an increase of £79.94 or 5.9 per cent.

Wiltshire Council leader, Baroness Jane Scott of Bybrook, said: “It’s not all rosy. It’s really hard out there.

“Each year we face the tough challenge of balancing the budget to ensure that we can allocate sufficient funding to deliver our priorities – and each year since we became Wiltshire Council we have done this.

“Continuing to protect those who are most vulnerable is a growing challenge, but one that we are committed to prioritising.

“We are developing sustainable plans that underpin our 10-year Business Plan to deliver the services and care that those who are most vulnerable need, along with plans to grow the economy and build strong communities.

“We are also investing to make sure that Wiltshire remains an attractive and thriving place for people to live, visit and work.

“I am proud to lead a council of dedicated and innovative people who work with local communities and partner organisations to deliver the services that they need, and support those who are vulnerable.”

Cllr Philip Whitehead, the Cabinet Member for Finance, said Wiltshire continues to have one of the lowest council taxes, with no increases from 2010 to 2016.

Currently, the council spends almost £1 billion each year on more than 350 services and its spending plan proposals are aligned to key priorities; to protect those who are most vulnerable, grow the local economy and strong communities.

The proposals reflect the challenges of delivering services against a backdrop of continued reduction in Government funding, a sustained increase in demand for some services; particularly adult social care and children’s safeguarding, and the increase in the national wage and inflation costs, he said.

The rising costs of adult social care due to increased demand and complexity of cases was recognised by government in 2015 when the Social Care Levy was introduced.

In December 2016, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that local authorities could bring forward planned three-year increases totalling six per cent to two years.

This means there was a three per cent rise in 2017/18, with a similar increase proposed in 2018/19, and no levy in 2019/20. The move was made to reflect the significant pressures faced by care providers nationwide.

At the full council meeting on February 20, members will be asked to approve plans for a £120m investment across the county focused on the local economy, improvement to roads, building more homes, and community campuses and hubs.

They will also be asked to approve a three per cent Social Care Levy in line with its medium term financial plan approved last year. Baroness Bybrook said this would, in part, help the council to meet the rising cost of adult social care services.

Members will also be asked to agree a council tax rise of 2.99 per cent, one per cent more than published in its financial plan, for 2018/19.

Together, the Social Care Levy and the council tax increase will raise around £21m.

Cllr Whitehead said the savings proposed will be found from reviewing and transforming services and the way the council works.

The budget papers are available online at

Wiltshire Council’s Tax Bands – including proposed increases:

Band A - £943.05

Band B - £1,100.22

Band C - £1,257.40

Band D - £1,414.57

Band E - £1,728.92

Band F - £2,043.27

Band G - £2,357.62

Band H - £2,829.14