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Council tax freeze move for North Yorkshire
COUNCIL tax bills in North Yorkshire are set to be frozen for the third year in a row.
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will meet next week to agree a package of measures, including a proposal not to increase council tax, ahead of a full meeting of the authority on February 20 where its annual budget will be decided.
The Government has offered councils which freeze bills a grant equivalent to a one per cent rise, amounting to £2.2 million for North Yorkshire. The county council, which already had to save £69 million, will now have to find another £23 million to balance its books over the next two years amid funding cuts.
Council leader John Weighell said: “We know many households are struggling financially and that is why we are pleased to be able to propose freezing council tax for the third year in succession.
“This will have saved the average household £95 over the three years.”
The council said that since it learned it would have to save an additional £23 million, it has marked out about £18 million of savings through cuts in back office and administrative areas, staffing reductions and service reviews. Coun Weighell said the authority was continuing to lobby the Government about its funding allocation as rural councils appeared to be faring worse than urban authorities, and he believed there was “some cause for optimism” that the level of savings needed to be made may fall by £1 million or £2 million as a result of this.
Other budget proposals include reducing the amount of money available for concessionary bus fares, cutting spending on public rights of way and library stock and “decommissioning” some children’s centre buildings.
Currently City of York Council plan to increase council tax in the city, but precise details of the increase have yet to be finalised.