£20m budget cuts agreed by council front bench

York Press: £20m budget cuts agreed by council front bench £20m budget cuts agreed by council front bench

LEADING North Yorkshire councillors have agreed a budget which could see council tax rise by 1.99 per cent and some libraries, children’s centres and recycling sites close.

The proposals, aimed at saving £20 million in 2013/14, were discussed today by North Yorkshire County Council’s executive today and a final decision will be made by the full authority on February 19. The planned council tax increase, after a four-freeze, would earn the council £4.6 million but it will still have to use £1.3 million from its reserves to balance the books.

The library service will be reviewed, with some libraries possibly closing unless communities take them over, and some children’s centres also face closure while a “significant” number of jobs will be lost. The winter maintenance budget will be reduced by £750,000 - although the number of roads which get severe weather protection will not be reduced - and household waste recycling centres may be transferred to commercial operators or charges introduced, although some may shut.

The council tax proposal and other budget plans may have to be rethought if the Government’s ‘trigger point’ for a referendum is an increase of less than two per cent, with a decision expected to be announced either this week or next week. The authority is planning to put money into extra care housing for the elderly and the Superfast North Yorkshire broadband programme, while a £5 million programme of road repairs will be carried out to repair damage caused by bad winter weather.

The council is already faced with saving £94 million by 2015 through a four-year cuts programme, and expects to have to save another £77 million between 2015 and 2019. Coun Carl Les, deputy leader and executive member for central and financial services, said: “We will try to mitigate the impact of these savings on our communities, but with 34 per cent of spending power taken out of the authority through thse cuts, we cannot deliver services as we have in the past and there has to be radical change in the way we do things.”

Speaking after today's meeting, council leader John Weighell said the face of the council was likely to change dramatically. "It will be altogether smaller - hopefully the critical services will be maintained, but enforced in a slightly different way," he said.

"I think this has been coming about for quite a few years now. People's expectations of council services will have to change and that applies across the whole country - there will be less government across the board."

The council said it expected austerity measures to last until at least the end of the decade. Its chief executive, Richard Flinton, has described the savings it has to make as "unprecedented in the life of the council" and said "year-on-year piecemeal cuts" would not be enough.

Comments (6)

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5:59pm Tue 4 Feb 14

courier46 says...

Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.Idiots!
Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.Idiots! courier46

6:30pm Tue 4 Feb 14

chelk says...

No sign of wage cuts or wage freezes for the bosses then
No sign of wage cuts or wage freezes for the bosses then chelk

7:18pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Dave Ruddock says...

Less Executives, less paid holidays abroad, less self engrossing at public expence. Serve the public not yourselves........ etc etc etc
Less Executives, less paid holidays abroad, less self engrossing at public expence. Serve the public not yourselves........ etc etc etc Dave Ruddock

10:26am Wed 5 Feb 14

RooBeck says...

Less councillors'( a third, maybe?), receiving payments and been allowed to pay into a generous pension pot and of course, if a "Leader" or a "cabinet member/portfolio holder", even more generous remuneration packages are made and result in the un-welcome development of professional/career politicians at a local level. This would send out a good message to the paying public! Perhaps, now is the time for local government administration and the public's expectations of non-essential services, particularly the opaque ones, to be re-thought, as council-tax payments,to many people, become more and more unaffordable.
Less councillors'( a third, maybe?), receiving payments and been allowed to pay into a generous pension pot and of course, if a "Leader" or a "cabinet member/portfolio holder", even more generous remuneration packages are made and result in the un-welcome development of professional/career politicians at a local level. This would send out a good message to the paying public! Perhaps, now is the time for local government administration and the public's expectations of non-essential services, particularly the opaque ones, to be re-thought, as council-tax payments,to many people, become more and more unaffordable. RooBeck

12:07pm Wed 5 Feb 14

perplexed says...

Will Coun Steward be condemning his fellow Tories on North Yorkshire council for not freezing council tax and accepting the Government grant? I suspect not.
Will Coun Steward be condemning his fellow Tories on North Yorkshire council for not freezing council tax and accepting the Government grant? I suspect not. perplexed

6:51pm Wed 5 Feb 14

bloodaxe says...

Time to abolish regressive council tax and bring in local income tax, not in addition to national tax but hived off from it.
Time to abolish regressive council tax and bring in local income tax, not in addition to national tax but hived off from it. bloodaxe

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