Council tax to rise by more than £40 next year for the average Milton Keynes household

Milton Keynes Council offices
Milton Keynes Council offices

Council tax in MK is set to increase by 2.99 per cent next year - a rise of £40.11 a year for the average Band D household.

This week the council outlined its draft 2019 budget in which in must make cuts of £8m.

The draft will go out for public consultation before it is finalised in February.

Labour's council leader Pete Marland said extra money will be allocated next year to caring for older people, supporting adults with learning difficulties, looking after vulnerable children and adults, and tackling homelessness.

Savings will be made on many other services and also by reducing the council's own staffing costs.

Since 2011, cuts have included reducing MK’s play area and landscaping budget by £1.1m (30 per cent), waste budget by £3.5m (13 per cent) and library budget by £1.2m (60 per cent).

MKC has lost 460 members of staff and restructured teams to put a greater focus on frontline services.

Pete said: “Making these cuts has not been easy but it’s meant we can still protect vital services and plan for the future. If you’re wondering “why doesn’t the council provide unlimited pink sacks like the old days” or “why was the grass verge trimmed once rather than twice last month” - it’s because we’ve had to make cuts."

He added: “However, it’s not through luck that our libraries and children’s centres remain open, or that we’ve kept our weekly bin collections. Our children’s services and adult social care services are some of the best in the country. We’ve more than halved rough sleeping and we’re investing in our city centre with projects like a new university.

“It’s also not luck that while other councils are going bust, MK Council is in a challenging but stable financial position.”

Cabinet will receive the proposals on Tuesday 4 December, and the consultation will be published at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/budget on 6 December.

Feedback from MK people and organisations will be shared with councillors for them to consider before a final budget is taken to a formal meeting of Full Council in February.