Page last updated February 2024
We face a difficult budget challenge in 2024/25
In 2024/25, we will have a budget gap of up to £26 million. We have a plan to balance the budget, but it won’t be without having to make difficult choices.
The pressures we face are significant across our “people” services. We are spending more money and using more resources to look after people who really need our help. This includes elderly and frail people, young people and families, and those at risk of homelessness.
We are also committing to bringing services provided by LiveWire back “in-house”. It’s really important to us that people can continue to access good-quality libraries, leisure and lifetsyles services. Protecting the services provided by LiveWire is therefore a priority for us. We have no realistic alternative than to insource these services, but it will cost money to do this.
Higher costs and rising demand
Generally, it’s more expensive for us to “keep the lights on” and provide the usual day-to-day services that people need. This is largely due to the cost-of-living crisis and inflation challenges.
And it’s not just us facing these pressures. The Local Government Association reported in December 2023 that one in five councils could face effective bankruptcy this year or next. In January 2024, independent research found that 40% of councils could face “financial failure” within the next five years.
It is in this context that we have set out our budget plan for 2024/25 and why your Council Tax is so important.
Your Council Tax explained
This year, we have confirmed a Council Tax increase of 4.98%. This is made up of a 2.98% council precept, plus a 2% adult social care precept.
This was approved at a Full Council meeting on Monday 26 February.
No council wants to increase council tax – we know that it means more residents paying out of their pocket, but the reality is we have no alternative if we want to continue providing our essential services.
Council Tax rates in Warrington are lower than a lot of other places. This means that in Warrington, even with the proposed rate increase, you will pay less Council Tax than if you lived in many other places. This also means we’re not able to collect as much money from Council Tax to keep services running, compared to many other areas.