Staffordshire County Council has pledged to spend millions more on business infrastructure and development in its 2023/24 budget.
The authority which is planning to raise council tax by 4.99 per cent – the maximum amount allowed without a referendum – says it wants to deliver a “balanced budget” that will invest in the future for businesses and communities.
Among significant business-related planned expenditure is:
- A £3.1 million investment in the Chatterley Valley West employment site near Kidsgrove, which the council says could create up to 1,700 jobs;
- The building of a major road junction to Pets at Home’s national distribution centre in Stafford, which will create 800 jobs;
- £50 million for the repair and maintenance of roads.
In other spending, around £40 million will go on public health projects and £45 million for upgrading, refurbishing and expanding schools.
Two per cent of the council tax rise will be used for social care and the remaining 2.99 per cent will be used for general purposes.
It is first time more than £400 million has been budgeted by the County Council to provide social care for the elderly and to support vulnerable children and young people.
Ian Parry, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Finance, said: “Providing adult social care and protecting children and young people account for two-thirds of our annual budget – and they remain a huge moral and financial responsibility.
“But because we are a well-run, financially stable authority we are still able to invest in the future for our businesses and communities by laying down the foundations, often quite literally, for businesses to prosper and for people to be educated to fill good jobs on their doorstep.”
The budget plan will be considered by cabinet members on 25 January and put to the full council on 9 February.
If approved, the annual council tax increase for a Band D property would be the equivalent of £1.34 a week.