WORCESTERSHIRE County Council has set its budget for 2013/14.

The budget was agreed at the authority’s full council meeting on Thursday, February 14.

It will aim to provide for investment in a number of initiatives that include health and well-being, the environment and children and families.

The budget also takes into account a significant reduction in funding from Central Government. The council now needs to plan for annual savings, on average, of at least of £20million per year, rather than the previously estimated £14 million per year.

Achieving these savings will require the council to reduce costs by becoming more efficient with its resources.

During the meeting, councillors also endorsed the recommendation to accept Central Government's offer of a council tax freeze grant for 2013/14.

This means that residents will receive the benefit of a freeze for the third year running. By deciding to adopt the grant in 2013/14, in addition to the previous decisions in 2011 and 2012, it has replaced the need to potentially raise the average Band D equivalent Council Tax bill by £69 from £1,039 to £1,108.

Members also agreed to keep their allowances at current levels for the fifth year running.

Over the next two years, an extra £2million will also be invested by the council into local highways schemes.