North Yorkshire and York Funding Settlement Extremely Challenging
6:37am 19th December 2013
A council tax rise in North Yorkshire is looking likely as £77 million of government cash is lost over the next four years.
The county council says it is facing "severe" budget limits and York Council says it's in a similar position.
North Yorkshire County Council says that the Government’s funding plans for local authorities have confirmed their assessment that it is in an ‘extremely challenging’ situation – particularly for the financial year 2015-16.
They add that the financial settlement for local government, announced yesterday, has reinforced the Council’s analysis that major savings are still required to meet the severe restraints on budgets, and that a rise in council tax – the first in four years – could be necessary.
“The announcement by the Government today is just as difficult as we had anticipated,” said County Councillor John Weighell, the Leader of North Yorkshire County Council. “It confirms the accuracy of our planning, and unfortunately emphasises the extremely difficult and challenging predicament in which we find ourselves.”
He adds that: "The County Council is on track to save £94m over the four years ending in March 2015, and the announcement confirms that it will have to find a further £77m over the next four years. This represents a cut in the council’s spending power of more than a third in eight years."
Members of North Yorkshire County Council will be asked in February to approve the authority’s budget for 2014/15. Although no firm decisions have yet been made say the council, its financial strategy is predicated on a rise in council tax of 2%. They add that if the council does not increase council tax, it will therefore have to find a further £2.3m in savings, in addition to those already planned.
City of York leader James Alexander is blaming the government for cuts in York and says they're about to get worse.
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