The council’s budget pays for day-to-day services such as adult social care, children’s services, waste and recycling, planning, transport, highways, street cleaning, parks, playgrounds, libraries and environmental health. The council has set a gross expenditure budget of just under £458 million for 2021/22 and £99 million – just under a quarter – is funded by your Council Tax. The rest is funded from a range of sources including Business rates, income from fees and charges, and funding from grants.
Over the last year, we have:
In 2021/22 the Council’s element of Council Tax will increase by 4.99%, an increase of £1.62 per week for a Band D property and £1.44 for a Band C property and £1.44 for a Band C property. The majority of properties in Reading are Band C and below. The change is made up of a 1.99% increase in general Council Tax and a 3.00% Adult Social Care Precept.
‘Adult social care’ services support people who need extra help due to physical issues or learning disabilities, mental illness or frailty due to age. This could be in the form of personal care like support with eating, washing or getting dressed, or with managing your home life like going to the shops. We help people live at home for as long as they can. Where this is no longer possible, care is provided through supported living, extra care facilities or nursing homes. Our adult social care services have been key to our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. From making extra calls and visits to people, to working with partners to ensure people are discharged quickly and safely from hospital.
We have been making our services more efficient for many years, reviewing how we provide care and investing in new technology. However, adult social care is under pressure due to an increase in demand for services, increases in the costs of providing care services, a decrease in funding for local government and more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. The 3% adult Social Care Precept will raise an extra £2.8 million, which is equivalent to 2,900 hours of homecare a week, and will allow Social Care teams to continue to protect vulnerable adults as we respond to, and recover from, the pandemic.
Over the next three years we’re investing in the areas you’ve told us matter most to you.
Your Council Tax also helps to pay for services delivered by Thames Valley Police and the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue service.