Council Tax Set to Stay the Same in Selby
9:46am 11th February 2013
Selby District Council's Executive is recommending another freeze to Council Tax and no charges to be introduced for green waste services at the moment.
Selby District Council say the Executive had initially looked at the potential of a 2% increase in Council Tax for this year, as well as debating charges for the green waste service. They add that following a period of consultation, however, and in light of a further reassurance from central government about the extent of a grant available to help local authorities freeze Council Tax, these proposals have now been dismissed.
This means that the Executive's budget to go before Full Council on 26 February will be based on yet another Council Tax freeze, and no green waste charges until further work has taken place to understand the implications of such a change and the alternative options for savings on this discretionary service, say the council.
If the budget proposal is accepted later this month, Council Tax would remain at the same level now as it was in 2010, with the Selby District Council charge for an average property at just £158.88: that's the equivalent of £3 per week to support all the services the Council delivers such as waste and recycling, leisure and planning, add the council.
The Council says it's overall financial position remains strong, following a range of innovative actions over recent years to reduce costs and improve efficiency. This has delivered savings of £3.8m since 2010, which includes an ongoing saving of £1.4m because of radical changes to the way the Council does business.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Crane, explained some of thinking behind the Executive's proposals, "We're proposing that we freeze Council Tax for hardworking families and individuals in our district. Times remain tough. Although inflation has come down recently, wages remain subdued and older people are getting less return on their savings - and that means the pound in your pocket doesn't go as far.
"We've made massive changes to how we do things which has delivered significant savings. That's put us in a strong financial position compared to many. And that means we're able to propose a 'no change' to Council Tax and no charges for green waste at the moment. That's something we'll look at in more detail later in the year."
Selby District Council say the budget proposals also provide much needed support for parish councils which are facing rises in their Council Tax charges as a result of national changes to Council Tax Benefit which come into force from April this year. Selby District Council adds that it is proposing to add £26,000 to the £134,000 from central government to help ease the impact of this change on parishes for the coming year.
Executive member for Finance and Resources, Cllr Cliff Lunn, said, "National welfare changes have the potential to have a significant impact on parish councils, so the District Council is providing this one-off funding to give them additional time to make the savings they need to balance their books in the future."
The Executive's proposals will now go before Full Council on Tuesday 26 February for a vote. The final decision on the Council Tax rate will not be confirmed until this date, say Selby District Council.
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