The move would mean the average council tax payer would face an extra bill of just £1 a week – but would prevent the most disastrous of cuts to social care including the care of vulnerable children.
Threatened services such as libraries, rural transport and street lights could also be better funded.
And vital community funds could be maintained allowing match funding which could bring in thousands of pounds.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24) Cambridgeshire County Council’s General Purposes Committee will meet again to scrutinise the authority’s budget focusing mainly on savings plans.
County Lib Dem Leader, Lucy Nethsingha said: “I will be repeating my call for a five per cent council tax rise rather than the two per cent which is expected. This would mean a small increase for the average council taxpayer but would have a big impact on council services in the coming year.
“If the Conservative Government chooses to set the council tax cap at two per cent or below, they are making a political choice to reduce the level of service available to the public at large and in particular the most vulnerable members of society who depend most on council services.”
A five per cent increase in council tax would:
- Keep the street lights on between 12 and 6am in all areas of the county where residents are keen to do so – £106k.
- Maintain vital community funds enabling match funding for a wide variety of other projects, leveraging many thousands of pounds - £15k.
- Maintain school crossing patrols across the county - £171k.
- Keep roads gritted in winter – with the hope of extending cover to all school routes - £650k.
- Keep libraries open - £145k - and cycle paths maintained – 217k.
- Fill potholes on roads and pavements - a real hazard, particularly for the elderly - £483k.
- Continue to support rural transport, services such as dial-a-ride and subsidised buses - £694k.
- Continue to support 16-18 year olds with tested transport to sixth form centres and colleges (means tested as at present) - £960k.
- Maintain investment in preventative services for young people with a range of problems through locality teams - £615k – and maintain youth services - £200k.
- Prevent cuts to speech and language therapy services for very young children - £120k.
“I have called on the Conservative group on the county council to push for a higher cap for many months,” added Cllr Nethsingha. “I hope they have listened.”