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Budget cuts announced as Tameside balances books and announces 5 per cent Council Tax rise

Fewer children dealt with by social services could be moved out of their homes under budget cuts in Tameside.

Bosses are also reviewing home to school transport for children with care and special educational needs plans.

The town hall needs to find £11.8m to balance the books. Council tax will go up – by 4.99pc – to raise cash as leaders look to make other savings.

Town hall services including adults, children’s and corporate are being looked at, with £2.2m, £4.1m and £3.7m savings planned in those departments.

Proposals include reducing placements for children in external homes, with town hall staff working with them in family ‘settings’.

A review of home to school transport is also being carried out. Council papers read: “Significant budget reductions are proposed within Children’s Social Care for 2024/25, with a clear focus on supporting children in familial settings as part of the Children’s Improvement plan, moving away from external residential settings and with the knowledge that better outcomes for children, cost less.

“In addition, a full review of transport options across the council, including home to school transport with a view to build resilience and independence are underway with a theme of maximising independence for young people.”

Council bosses say ‘early intervention’ work with people at risk of homeless will also save cash.

Finance boss Coun Jacqueline North has criticised ‘unfair’ government funding, with Tameside getting less than other areas. 

“We are seeking to protect the front line operation services such as waste,” she said. “We are meeting our legal obligations such as social care and homelessness.”

Council leader Coun Gerald Cooney echoed those comments. The committee heard that because around 90 per cent of the borough’s housing is in the council tax bands – A, B and C – they get less money in terms of percentage increases than other councils.

Ashley Hughes, director of resources at the council, told the executive members they did not have to draw on their reserves this year. Doing so going forward has now been ruled out. 

The council tax rise will be approved only when the full council has voted it through at the beginning of next month. If approved on March 5, there will be a 2.99 pc increase to council tax and an increase of 2pc in relation to the adult social care precept for 2024/25.

Here is a breakdown of how much extra each household will pay per week:

  • Band A properties: £1.11 extra per week
  • Band B properties: £1.29 extra per week
  • Band C properties: £1.48 extra per week
  • Band D properties: £1.66 extra per week

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