A DRAFT budget has been agreed by Trafford Council as the ruling Labour administration tries to close a £58.45m funding gap.

Council tax is set to go up, it has been confirmed by the authority.

Like many others, the town hall has been hit hard by the impact of coronavirus. The pandemic has cost the council an estimated £45.5m so far.

Savings and redirected funds are said to be holding back the tide.

But there is still a net budget gap of £15.65m – just from the impact of the virus.

That doesn’t include ‘business as usual’ pressures, which total a massive £42.8m.

Over the next three years, Trafford Council has a sizeable financial gap to fill.

The council has proposed an overall increase in council tax of 3.99 per cent – the highest possible increase – which includes a two per cent adult social care precept.

For someone living in a Band C property in Trafford, their council tax bill will go up by £58.27 to £1,518.73 a year.

In 2021/22, the authority needs to find £32.81m through additional funding, the use of savings and generating new income.

This is assuming the pressures of Covid stop by the end of the 2021/22 financial year.

Even if the proposed budget is fully implemented by the council, it still predicts to have a budget gap each year over the following three years – £4.71m in 2021/22, £5.21m in 2022/23, and £8.03m in 2022/24 – a total of £17.95m. A proposed final budget will be put to full council on February 22 next year for approval.