THE average council tax bill is set to rise by an extra £87 from March as the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit households across the county.

Worcestershire County Council has proposed a rise of almost five per cent rise in its council tax share – with some of the money ring-fenced to pay for adult social care – which would see its slice rise by almost £70 for ‘band D’ households.

This would push total bills for ‘band D’ homes – including the police precept, both city and county councils, and the region’s fire service precept which usually rises yearly by between £1.50 and £2 – to nearly £2,024 or roughly £170 a month.

Despite the proposed rise in council tax from April, the county council will still be facing a £68m hole in the next financial year.

It is because of growing demand and inflation – including an extra £40m needed to cover the ever-spiralling cost of social care, as well as £17m to deal with inflation and £11m for the proposed pay increase for staff.

Budget papers reveal the government has agreed to give the county an extra £26m in funding next year plus an extra £19.5m for adult and children’s social care.

Inflation and the rising cost of borrowing mean the council’s capital programme – which includes all county’s major and long-term projects such as roads, bridges and schools – will increase by more than £36 million.

Council bosses said £22m would have to be cut – or ‘saved’ – from next year’s budget and a further £45m would have to be slashed from the budget in the following three years.

The city’s council tax bills are split between four main authorities – and five for those who live in St Peter’s and Warndon parishes – with the majority going to Worcestershire County Council to pay for services such as adults and children’s social care, education, highways and waste disposal.

Worcester City Council also receives a portion to pay for the services it provides such as bin collections, planning and housing and the region’s fire and police services each get a share to cover its costs.

The city council is pushing for an increase in its share of council tax in 2023/24 – a rise of £6 on last year’s ‘average’ bill.

Mid-year budget papers reveal the authority is ‘assuming’ an extra rise of £6 on this year’s average council tax bill in 2023/24 – meaning the share it asks for will rise to almost £207 for those in ‘band D’ households.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has also revealed in his budget plans that he will be asking the average taxpayer in Worcestershire to pay almost £10 more next year towards the cost of policing.

The force’s share from the average band D household in the county will rise by £9.84 to £259.50 a year under the plans with the almost four per cent increase coming 12 months on from another four per cent increase.

The county council’s cabinet meets at County Hall in Worcester on Thursday (January 5) to discuss its £400m budget.