Council tax hike for York
6:25am 24th February 2012
City of York Council today (23 February) formally agreed to increase Council Tax by 2.9 per cent for 2012/13.
The decision means that the Band D charge for council services will increase by 61p per week from £1090.85 to £1122.48 (excluding fire and police charges and parish precepts) for the forthcoming year.
The charge on a Band C property, the charging rate for the majority of properties in York, will increase by 54p per week from £969.64 to £997.76 (excluding fire and police charges and parish precepts) for 2012/13.
The agreed budget has been informed by citywide consultation, and reflects the council’s key priorities, which include supporting the most vulnerable people in the city and helping grow the economy.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said:
“The two year budget is prudent and will provide stability and security for council services, residents and council-funded organisations. It will help grow our local economy whilst protecting the most vulnerable at a time of national austerity.
“The council has not been immune from government funding cuts and tough decisions have been required to secure the future. I would like to thank everyone who has taken time to give us their views on the council’s budget for the next two years.”
The council has approved a two-year revenue budget and a new five year capital budget, which will include a range of significant investments for the city, including major investment to boost jobs and economic growth in the future.
The budget round has been one of the toughest for a generation, with the council agreeing savings of £19.7m over the next two years as a result of a reduction in government grant funding.
Additional unavoidable pressures driving the savings requirements include:
- Continued increases in the number of customers requiring the council’s support as a result of the city’s ageing population.
- A significant increase in the number of children requiring the council’s care.
- Waste –dealing with Landfill Tax requirements.
- Fuel and Energy costs.
Labour Leader of City of York Council, Coun. James Alexander, said of the budget:
“This is probably the hardest budget to set in a generation, given the extent to which funding has been reduced to councils by the Government. But right from the moment we were given a strong mandate from the people of York, we knew they wanted a Labour Council to manage the Government’s cuts in a way that protected the most vulnerable.
“This we have done in a number of ways, including retaining a focus on economic growth and jobs, which is one of the key ways in which the council can support local people.
“But we have gone much further, by allocating the money required for adult social care and looked after children. This is a part of the budget that none of the other parties have sought to reverse, because it is needed”.
The council tax level has been set at 2.9%, after the Labour Council turned down the Government’s ‘buy now, pay later’ option of a freeze grant. Coun. Alexander has explained in recent weeks how the option would involve a council tax rise above 4.5% next year, or millions more in service cuts.
“The Labour budget provides stability over the long term, taking tough decisions to secure the future”, said Coun. Alexander.
“We have kept the council tax increase to the absolute minimum level we felt we could whilst maintaining excellent services, an increase far lower than a great many Conservative councils up and down the country”.
Details of the two year budget will be uploaded here soon.
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