Hertfordshire County Council is proposing a 4.99 per cent council tax increase for the coming financial year.

The draft budget details a planned spend of more than £1 billion on services which encompass the needs of all residents and focus on those most vulnerable.

The council is increasing spending by £98m to £1.1 billion, but due to a shortfall, it plans to make up the funding deficit using its reserves and by increasing council tax by 4.99 per cent, which includes two per cent specifically designated for Adult Social Care.

Councillor Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council said: “From keeping Hertfordshire moving to helping residents who need the most support, we’ll be spending over a billion pounds delivering services across Hertfordshire and focussing on what really matters to you.

“Despite years of prudent financial planning, increased demand for services and rising costs mean we now need to access our reserves and make significant savings to balance the budget and ensure we continue to maintain, improve and protect services.

“We’ll continue to lobby government for additional funds, particularly in relation to supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities where we continue to be significantly under-funded compared to other councils.

"We’ll also do everything we can to alleviate our tax burden on you by making ourselves as streamlined and efficient as possible.”

The Integrated Plan reveals proposed investments including approximately half a billion pounds to support 30,000 adults.

This includes a £31m investment to improve the offering for care workers.

Children’s services are poised to receive just over a quarter of a billion pounds, and include an additional £18m to Children Looked After and children with disabilities.

A further £7m will be invested in the Making SEND Everyone’s Business improvement programme.

£80m is allocated to highways and transport, with an ongoing £7.9m two-year revenue funding for highways network improvements.

Over two years, an additional £19m will be invested in highways maintenance, and £2.7m will be reserved for the enhancement of facilities and accessibility at Hertfordshire's fire stations.

The council is actively seeking resident feedback via a survey, open until January 28.