Bristol

Bristol council tax set to rise 5% from April

Labour Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees
Image caption Mayor Marvin Rees said the council was in "a tough position"

Council tax in Bristol is set to rise by 5% - just over £6 per month for a Band D household - from April, as the authority tries to balance its books.

Bristol City Council needs to save more than £100m over the next five years.

The authority has released details of £64m of cuts following a three-month consultation.

Other measures include closing library buildings, cutting bus subsidies, support for the vulnerable and funding for the city's parks.

Parking charges will also increase, with free Sunday parking set to be withdrawn.

Mayor Marvin Rees said government funding reductions, extra demand on services and weaknesses in the council's financial practices had put the council in a "tough position".

'Top priorities'

The Labour politician said: "We must focus on our top priorities and do fewer things ourselves, with partners, volunteers or community groups taking on other services they want to keep."

Cabinet member for finance, Craig Cheney, added: "Many other places made these hard decisions a long time ago.

"Bristol is being forced to catch up and if we don't do it now we will lose any chance of making savings in a planned, controlled way which can take account of local needs."

The council will start a new round of detailed consultation at the end of January about how to implement some of the savings if they are approved.

Projects such as the Bristol Arena and the Metrobus Scheme are unaffected as they are funded as capital project rather than from revenue.

Any decision is subject to final approval at a full council meeting in February.

A full list of the latest budget saving proposals is available on the council's website.

The savings initiative follows plans to cut 1,000 council jobs announced in August.

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