The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has made an offer to adult social care authorities. “Adult social care authorities” are local authorities which have functions under Part 1 of the Care Act 2014, namely county councils in England, district councils for an area in England for which there is no county council, London borough councils, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.
The offer is the option of an adult social care authority being able to charge a “precept” on its council tax for the financial year beginning in 2016 without holding a referendum, to assist the authority in meeting expenditure on adult social care.
For the financial year beginning in April 2018 the Secretary of State has determined (and the House of Commons has approved) a referendum principle of 6% (comprising 3% for expenditure on adult social care and 3% for other expenditure), for adult social care authorities. These authorities, which include Slough Borough Council, may therefore set council tax up to this percentage in 2018 without holding a referendum.
The government has allowed councils which provide social care to adults to increase their share of council tax by up to an extra 3% in comparison to last year’s council tax. This additional council tax charge is called the adult social care precept.
Slough Borough Council members agreed at Council on 22 February 2018 to use this additional 3% flexibility in order to support the Adult Social care services.
This precept is shown on your council tax bill – it states that the Adult Social Care precept is 3% while the increase for Slough Borough Council is 1.5% and is included in your monthly council tax payments.
The income generated from this charge can only be used for adult social care services.
As part of the process of setting our budget the chief finance officer (s151) is required to confirm in writing to central government that we will use the ‘Adult Social Care precept’ and this will be spent on Adult Social Care functions.