SELBY District Council is proposing a council tax freeze as leaders prepare to set its final budget as a local authority.

Deputy leader Richard Musgrave said the authority wanted to help people in the district who are battling with the cost of living.

The freeze will cost Selby £119,000 per year if it is approved early next year.

The “unique” budget for 2022/2023 also includes a £750,000 contingency fund to deal with the ongoing impact of Covid and a one-off £750,000 increase in staffing costs to help fill roles for staff who are working on local government reorganisation.

Selby will cease to exist as a local council from 2023, when it will join a new North Yorkshire-wide authority.

Cllr Musgrave said: “We’re very conscious of the cost of living for people. Everyone can see things are getting more expensive and inflation is going up. 

“National Insurance rises will come into effect in the early part of next year as well, so we’re doing our bit to try to keep the cost of living down for people. For a lot of people council tax is their second biggest outgoing every month.”

Projects in the capital programme include investment in car parks, play areas, industrial units and IT projects.

Council papers state that savings the authority predicted it would have to make have been pushed back.

The report states: “Organisational capacity is undoubtedly stretched as we continue to recover from the pandemic and tackling backlogs in some service areas means that capacity to deliver the savings required is severely diminished.

“This coupled with the need to support local government reorganisation implementation and accelerate delivery of our approved investment programmes, means that savings have been profiled beyond 2023/24.”

Cllr Musgrave said: “We’re going to go into a massive change at the end of this budget. If that wasn’t happening, then we’d be presenting a very different budget.

“We’re going to hand over to the new council and it’s up to them to bring those service lines together across the other district and borough councils. The onus is on them to make those savings and we want to leave them open to do that .

“The county council in its budget submission to government promised £30 million pounds a year in savings, so we think it’s over to them to make those savings now.”

The draft budget proposals are set to go out for a six-week public consultation from December 3.