Council tax bill frozen for second year

COUNTY council chiefs will be freezing their share of the council tax bill for a second year running despite having to find more than £16million in savings over the coming financial year.

Councillors voted to accept a proposal for a freeze in council tax as part of a package including £16.6million in cuts and a £92million capital programme.

The budget agreed will also include a one-off £3.7million grant from the Government.

Council Executive Member for Corporate Resources Andrew Tebbutt said: “The council understands that many people are facing a squeeze on their finances and that household budgets are under great pressure. It is a difficult time for everyone financially and we feel it is important to do all we can to make life easier for residents.”

A council tax freeze will mean extra savings of £3.7million will be needed next financial year on top of the £53.4million already due to be cut by 2016.

Councillors have pledged to build on the success of efficiencies that have saved around £101million since 2009.

“The decision to accept the government’s tax grant does mean we will need to find additional savings further down the line,” Coun Tebbutt added.

“This will undoubtedly be challenging, but these challenges will have to be met, and the efficiencies required will continue to be made in a planned way.”