Opponents to debate York council tax proposals

Opponents to debate York council tax proposals

Coun Dafydd Williams

Coun Nigel Ayre

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

RESIDENTS in York will tonight discover whether their council tax bills will rise as councillors debate rival budget proposals.

City of York Council must save more than £24 million over the next two years, with 240 jobs set to be shed, and its ruling Labour group has tabled a 1.9 per cent council tax rise after saying taking a Government freeze grant would leave a £560,000 shortfall and potentially more service cuts.

Opposition groups want council tax bills frozen, with the Conservatives saying New Homes Bonus payments and leftover cash in the council’s Delivery and Innovation Fund would allow the £778,000 Government grant to be accepted. Their leader, Coun Chris Steward, has said the council should "stop interfering and let people spend their own money" by keeping council tax at 2013/14 levels.

The Liberal Democrats will say the £560,000 gap created by not raising council tax could be bridged by cancelling plans to put £850,000 more into the council’s reserves.

The Green group will call for a referendum on a 2.9 per cent council tax increase, saying such a rise would be needed to safeguard “vital” services and their proposal would mean residents deciding whether they were prepared to pay more to protect services.

Labour says its budget would provide an extra £2.5 million for adult social care and £2.3 million for road and footpath repairs, with the York Financial Assistance Scheme receiving £100,000 to help struggling residents and money allocated for improving streetlights, children’s play areas and skate parks.

However, it would see the end of the free Minster Badge parking scheme, a £30,000 cut for children’s centres and reduced subsidies for York Theatre Royal and York Museums Trust.

Coun Nigel Ayre, Lib Dem finance spokesman, said their council tax amendment gave Labour “a very simple choice” between freezing bills or putting unnecessary money into reserves, and rejecting the council tax offer would mean York had turned down £3.5 million of council tax grants since 2011.

He said: “Our plan would still leave reserves more than £400,000 above minimum recommended levels. If accepted, it would show the council actually cares about residents in these difficult economic times.”

Green councillor Dave Taylor said a 2.9 per cent rise would mean residents paying 22p more weekly than under Labour’s plans. He said: “We’d rather see a return to proper funding of services. We believe residents would step up to the Government’s referendum challenge and say they value local services.”

The Conservatives have pledged to fund more salt and litter bins, an extra green bin collection in winter, additional funds for pothole repairs and gulley-cleaning and to keep Minster Badges. They want to cut funding for the Reinvigorate York facelift scheme to allow more money to be spent on public services, with Coun Stewrd saying this was more important than "vanity projects".

Coun Dafydd Williams, cabinet member for finance, said opposition parties had voted against Labour plans to reverse cuts and put more money into public services in the past, and were now calling for “unsustainable sticking plaster solutions”. Council leader James Alexander said other parties' amendments would “halt investment which supports jobs” and claimed they now “appear to support” the Arts Barge scheme, having opposed it in the past.

Comments (4)

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10:39am Thu 27 Feb 14

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

Council leader James Alexander said the proposed 1.9 per cent council tax rise would equate to an average of 37p a week for each resident. (Tuesday 4th February 2014).

Green councillor Dave Taylor said a 2.9 per cent rise would mean residents paying 22p more weekly than under Labour’s plans.

How come the Green's 2.9% rise is only 59.45% (value) of the Labours 1.9% rise.

Your accounting protocol is nonsense.

If you had respect for residents you would present the increase by band, forget the average and the lowest numbers, not a lot of effort required.
Council leader James Alexander said the proposed 1.9 per cent council tax rise would equate to an average of 37p a week for each resident. (Tuesday 4th February 2014). Green councillor Dave Taylor said a 2.9 per cent rise would mean residents paying 22p more weekly than under Labour’s plans. How come the Green's 2.9% rise is only 59.45% (value) of the Labours 1.9% rise. Your accounting protocol is nonsense. If you had respect for residents you would present the increase by band, forget the average and the lowest numbers, not a lot of effort required. YOUWILLDOASISAY
  • Score: -2

12:36pm Thu 27 Feb 14

YOUWILLDOASISAY says...

Labour:
Increase 1.9%
Band
AR £783.59 2014/15 £798.47 + £14.89 - Weekly 0.29p
A £940.31 2014/15 £958.18 + £17.86 - Weekly 0.34p
B £1,097.02 2014/15 £1,117.86 + £20.84 - Weekly 0.40p
C £1,253.74 2014/15 £1,277.57 + £23.82 - Weekly 0.46p
D £1410.46 2014/15 £1,437.25 + £26.80 -Weekly 0.52p
E £1723.90 2014/15 £1,756.65 + £32.75 - Weekly 0.63p
F £2,037.33 2014/15 £2,076.04 + £38.70 - Weekly 0.74p
G £2,350.77 2014/15 £2,395.43 + £44.66 - Weekly 0.86p
H £2,820.92 2014/15 £2,874.52 + £53.69 - Weekly £1.03

Green’s:
Increase 2.9%
Band
AR £783.59 2014/15 £806.31 + £22.72 - Weekly 0.44p
A £940.31 2014/15 £967.88 + £27.27 - Weekly 0.52p
B £1,097.02 2014/15 £1,128.83 + £31.81 - Weekly 0.61p
C £1,253.74 2014/15 £1,290.10 + £36.35 - Weekly 0.67p
D £1410.46 2014/15 £1,451.36 + £40.90 - Weekly 0.79p
E £1723.90 2014/15 £1,773.89 + £49.99 - Weekly 0.96p
F £2,037.33 2014/15 £2,096.41 + £59.08 - Weekly £1.04
G £2,350.77 2014/15 £2,418.94 + £68.17 - Weekly £1.31
H £2,820.92 2014/15 £2,902.72 + £81.80 - Weekly £1.57
Labour: Increase 1.9% Band AR £783.59 2014/15 £798.47 + £14.89 - Weekly 0.29p A £940.31 2014/15 £958.18 + £17.86 - Weekly 0.34p B £1,097.02 2014/15 £1,117.86 + £20.84 - Weekly 0.40p C £1,253.74 2014/15 £1,277.57 + £23.82 - Weekly 0.46p D £1410.46 2014/15 £1,437.25 + £26.80 -Weekly 0.52p E £1723.90 2014/15 £1,756.65 + £32.75 - Weekly 0.63p F £2,037.33 2014/15 £2,076.04 + £38.70 - Weekly 0.74p G £2,350.77 2014/15 £2,395.43 + £44.66 - Weekly 0.86p H £2,820.92 2014/15 £2,874.52 + £53.69 - Weekly £1.03 Green’s: Increase 2.9% Band AR £783.59 2014/15 £806.31 + £22.72 - Weekly 0.44p A £940.31 2014/15 £967.88 + £27.27 - Weekly 0.52p B £1,097.02 2014/15 £1,128.83 + £31.81 - Weekly 0.61p C £1,253.74 2014/15 £1,290.10 + £36.35 - Weekly 0.67p D £1410.46 2014/15 £1,451.36 + £40.90 - Weekly 0.79p E £1723.90 2014/15 £1,773.89 + £49.99 - Weekly 0.96p F £2,037.33 2014/15 £2,096.41 + £59.08 - Weekly £1.04 G £2,350.77 2014/15 £2,418.94 + £68.17 - Weekly £1.31 H £2,820.92 2014/15 £2,902.72 + £81.80 - Weekly £1.57 YOUWILLDOASISAY
  • Score: -5

3:52pm Thu 27 Feb 14

petethefeet says...

Look around York and just consider the number of schemes where they are fixing things they have supposedly fixed before or undoing the work of the previous incumbents. If only they would stop fiddling......
Look around York and just consider the number of schemes where they are fixing things they have supposedly fixed before or undoing the work of the previous incumbents. If only they would stop fiddling...... petethefeet
  • Score: -3

11:22am Fri 28 Feb 14

The Marshall says...

The York "officers" are trying to pull wool over the voters eyes.
Time that we had a referendum on the finances of our city.
The York "officers" are trying to pull wool over the voters eyes. Time that we had a referendum on the finances of our city. The Marshall
  • Score: 0

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