Council tax bills look set to rise by more than £80 per year under emerging proposals in Cheshire West and Chester .
The biggest share is sought by Labour -led Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) which provides wide ranging services from schools and highway maintenance to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children.
CWaC, which also faces massive cuts from central government, is asking for extra cash equivalent to a £1.32 per week rise for households in a Band D property – or £68.64 a year.
Cheshire Police is consulting on three options ranging from no increase to an extra £1 per month and more than £1 per month.
Cheshire Fire Authority , with its smaller budget demands, seeks a rise of £2.19 per year.
Cheshire West and Chester Council says protecting vulnerable people is at the centre of its budget plans despite significant funding pressures.
Labour, who control the council with a miniscule one seat majority, hope to agree a 4.99% council tax rise in 2017-18, comprising a 2.99% general increase and an additional 2% rise for adult social care.
Early budget proposals for 2018-19 are included in a report before the council’s overview and scrutiny committee, which meets on Wednesday, January 24.
Council leader Cllr Samantha Dixon said: “Increasing council tax is not a decision we take lightly as we know many families are struggling, but we have a responsibility to protect our vulnerable residents and maintain frontline services despite massive cuts to our funding by central government.
“Our reduced funding means we have to take difficult decisions and we have had an open and honest dialogue with residents about the tough choices we face. These budget proposals have been informed and influenced by an extensive consultation with the public and we got the message loud and clear.
"Residents want us to make more efficiency savings and to protect vulnerable adults and children, and that is exactly what we are proposing to do.”
The council faces a funding gap of £33.3 million over the next three years, which includes an £11.8 million shortfall in 2018-19.
Budget proposals outline how the council will bridge the gap while achieving its priorities including funding regeneration projects in Chester , Northwich and Winsford . Schemes to support residents struggling to pay council tax bills would also be protected.
Meanwhile, Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane has launched a three-week county-wide consultation on Cheshire’s police precept with households facing options ranging from no increase to an extra £1 per month and more than £1 per month.
Mr Keane is visiting communities across the region to gauge the views of residents and businesses on the potential police increases. He will be at Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre on Saturday, January 20, between 11am and 2pm.
Cheshire Fire Authority had already consulted over a proposed 1.99% rise or £1.46 extra per year.
But late in the day, the Government announced local authorities – including fire and rescue services – could raise their share of the council tax by 3% before the need to hold a public referendum. Therefore, the authority is now seeking views on a proposed 2.99% increase, equivalent to an additional £2.19 per year.
The authority says this additional £268,000 per year income would help the authority provide essential prevention, protection and emergency response services against a reduction in central government funding.