A COUNCIL tax rise of 3.9 per cent will pave the way for tens of millions of pounds to be spent on frontline services, it was revealed this week.

Barnsley Council’s budget proposals are headlined by a £77m pledge to improve housing, schools and roads, as well as a £17.5m investment in social care and an additional £2m to address potholes.

The rise means that most households in Barnsley - in bands A and B - will pay less than £1 a week more.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “The budget proposals invest money directly into the frontline, helping us to deliver essential services to our communities.

“It’s a budget full of opportunities and long-term possibilities for local people through more jobs, better housing, and improved access to education and skills, helping to grow ambition in our young people.

“We want to do this alongside striving to look after people and families who need help, recycle more of our waste, and repair our roads.

“We’re working on how to do all this more sustainably as we work towards reducing our carbon emissions to net zero.”

Yesterday, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings also confirmed that the precept for policing will rise by 6.73 per cent - the government’s maximum permitted amount.

It means residents in a band D property will pay an extra £15 per year to fund policing if the increase is agreed.

Inflation, according to the force, applies to police finances the same as it does to individual households with rising fuel and energy costs, as well as staff pay increases.

However, finance bosses at the council say they are in an ‘enviable position’ when compared to other local authorities - but admitted the 2023/24 budget comes with challenges of which have ‘never been faced before’.

“This budget has been prepared against the backdrop of recovering from the pandemic, the cost of living crisis, energy and fuel costs, inflation, increasing demand for services, and the impacts of the government’s budgetary decisions.

“Every year, we continue to serve our communities with less, and we must make tough decisions to balance our financial challenges with the income to fund the investments and drive Barnsley forward.

“Our finances have always been well-managed and we’re preparing as well as possible for these uncertainties and the different scenarios we may face, which puts us in a good position.

“This is a testament to our fantastic employees, their long-term planning, and their drive to think outside the box to create different ways of working.

“Significant challenges are ahead, but we’re looking to the future to make Barnsley a place of possibilities for everyone.”

The proposals - which will be discussed by ruling cabinet members on Wednesday - will go before full council on February 23.

“We propose to provide additional support to around 18,000 households across the borough.

“People on the local council tax support scheme will see no increase in their bills - some people on the lowest incomes will see a decrease in their bills as we’re providing a one-off grant to them.

“If you’re struggling to pay your council tax and can’t access the support support, we have a discretionary council tax support scheme which might help people who are in financial crisis.”