A RURAL Yorkshire council has set out its plans to hike council tax by nearly four percent this year, but others are still waiting for a final deal from the Government.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council's budget papers show the Conservative-controlled authority is preparing to raise its council tax bill by the maximum allowable, while still needing to make £60 million in savings to keep up with the cuts coming from central government.
At the same time neighbouring North Yorkshire County Council has had to postpone its budget setting, causing knock-on delays for district councils in the county, because its settlement from central government has not yet been finalised.
Cllr Carl Les, the council leader in North Yorkshire, said they were hopeful that after his authority and other county councils appealed to ministers over the draft settlement published in December, a final deal announced next week might ease the financial pain slightly for the area.
In January, North Yorkshire accused the government of penalising rural areas and giving more cash to the inner cities in its most recent round of funding for local councils.
Cllr Les said North Yorkshire faced much bigger cuts than expected in the draft settlement given in December, adding that he and other senior bosses were "concerned" at the unfairness of the deal and faced a "very tough challenge indeed" to keep delivering services in the sparsely populated rural areas of North Yorkshire.
Along with other county councils' officials, they appealed to ministers, and are now waiting for what could be a different final version of the deal.
Next week, the East Riding council - a unitary authority - is due to finish setting its budget for the year ahead.
Papers going before its ruling Cabinet show bosses are arguing for a 3.99 percent increase in council tax - the highest possible without a local referendum and the first increase in the area since 2010.
Even with the tax increase, the council will have to find £60.5 million in savings in the next year - £16 million more than it has already identified. Without the 3.99 percent tax increase that shortfall would be nearly £40 million, the reports show.
The budget plans were approved by East Riding's cabinet on Tuesday, and are due to be finalised by a full meeting of the council on Thursday, February 11.