Oxfordshire County Council's cabinet has agreed to proposals to allocate an additional £4.8 million of funding to its 2024/25 budget.

The decision has been made ahead of a key meeting in February.

The balanced budget proposals were approved to be presented at the county council's annual budget-setting meeting on February 20.

The council has been striving since November to reconcile a previous shortfall between the funding needed to maintain services in the 2024/25 budget and the capital at hand.

After the proposals were formulated, Central Government declared an extra £600 million for councils across the nation, recognising the financial difficulties faced by the sector.

Oxfordshire County Council's share of this will be £4.8 million.

However, local government funding beyond 2024/25 remains uncertain.

The council's cabinet has only been able to propose one-off spending that does not extend beyond the 2024/25 fiscal year.

Central Government has advised councils to utilise the social care portion of the new funding towards establishing children’s social care services on a sustainable financial footing, whilst also focusing on adult social care provision.

Oxford Mail: Dan Levy, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for financeDan Levy, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for finance (Image: West Oxfordshire District Council)

Councillor Dan Levy, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: "While this extra funding is welcome it has come very late in the day and there remains no longer term plan to deal with the future sustainability of local government across England.

"Funding is uncertain beyond 2024/25."

New proposals include investing £1 million to accelerate digital methods in social care, £774,000 to develop the Oxfordshire Way approach in both children’s and adult social care, and an additional £1 million to improve home to school transport services and and another £1 million to improve the family safeguarding model.

A £500,000 scheme has been proposed to recruit more people into the Shared Lives scheme, alongside an investment of £1.3 million for flood recovery work and to clear vegetation clearance around footways and cycleways.

Mr Levy added: "We have given careful thought as to how this new money should be spent bearing in mind the uncertainties beyond 2024/25 and the fact that most of it should be spent on social care.

“We have listened carefully to what residents have outlined as their priorities during our conversations and engagement with them on our budget over the past six months.

"At £4.8m the new money represents less than one per cent of our overall budget for 2024/25."

The county council is set for the annual budget setting meeting at 10.30am on Tuesday, February 20, where all 63 county councillors will meet to finalise the budget for the next financial year and devise a medium-term strategy.