COUNCIL tax could be set to rise by £42.30 a year to continue paying for services run by Wiltshire Council.

The increase, estimated for an average Band D household, is a 2.99 per cent, up from £1414.57 last year to £1456.87 for the year ahead.

Draft budget papers show the council’s spend will reach £332 million to care for the vulnerable and keep public services such as roads maintenance and waste going.

To balance the books the council must save £27 million, with the biggest cuts coming from Adult care and public health and Children and Education. Adult services have an annual budget of £145m but has had to cut £16m and Children and Education services has a budget of over £78m but has found £4m of cuts.

Among the cuts included in the draft papers include a projected £2.375m saved through the introduction a of a reablement team within adult and social care.

The report states: “A new reablement team is helping to reduce hospital admissions and enable smooth transfers of care.

“The Adult Social Care Transformation Board has expanded its priorities to include a second phase which will focus on mental health and learning difficulties.

“The board has expanded its membership and is working across a multi-agency agenda to improve outcomes for the residents of Wiltshire.”

Community services will be cut as grants to charities, and cuts to community clubs are dealt. Cuts to social clubs and lunch club grant funding could be £62,000 and £41,000 respectively.

Wiltshire Council plans to cut its contributions to both Visit Wiltshire and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to save £116,700.

Support for schools moving from authority-run to academy-run will have be slashed by £10,000 to £11,900.

When the savings were first announced during a series of Focussing on the Future public meetings, Baroness Jane Scott said: “There has been a reduction in funding but at the same time an increase in the demand on services which has put increased pressure on this council.

“Again we have been working very hard to make sure they do not adversely affect the services that people really rely on.

“One thing this council has always done is protect the vulnerable, older people, children in care and disabled.

“This council has to find different ways of doing things. We have to be even more efficient year on year.”

Work is also being done to increase the number of services available digitally, which could save the council £5m every year by 2021.

One million calls are currently made to Wiltshire Council every year at a costs of £2.50 per call. It hopes to use better website services to slash that number and cut costs.

Mr Whitehead confirmed that more devices would be devolved to town and parish councils to make a saving of 400k Whitehead said: “We are good at the big strategic decisions, we are not always brilliant at the little things and local people can be better placed for this.

“We make savings everyday not just at once every in a year.”

“We need a different way and we are looking at other ways to transform , digitise commercialize and devolve services. Every phone call currently costs between £2.50 and £5 if half of these can e.g. answered using automated system or on the web we can save money.”

Councillors are set to discuss the proposed budget during a scrutiny meeting on Thursday.

A final decision and debate on the Wiltshire Council budget will take pace during a full council meeting on February 26.