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Council tax pegged by Hambleton
COUNCIL bosses in Hambleton District who are freezing council tax up to 2016 said they can still make £1m worth of budget cuts without affecting services.
At a meeting of the full council, Conservative leader Mark Robson said there had been no increase in the past three years and there would be no increase in the next two.
He said: “Hambleton District council is in a strong financial position and I intend that this remains as it is through strategic financial planning and ensuring that we do not fritter away our balances and find ourselves in the position many other council’s do.
“I would like to reiterate that there have been no service cuts in Hambleton, and with a new saving of £1m there will not need to be any."
It means council taxpayers in a Band D property will pay £89.48 for the Hambleton element of their bill.
Coun Robson said since May this year the council had reduced budgets by £250,000 and savings of £750,000 had been identified towards the £1m they need to balance the budget from 2015 to 2019.
Councillors were told this year they had an additional one off amount of £270,000 from extra returns on business rates.
Coun Robson said the authority’s captial programme was still on target, delivering major projects with nearly £1m invested in leisure centres across the region.
Up to 2020 the authority expects direct government grant support to be cut by 48 per cent which means, along with other councils, in the country it needs to rely on other funding.
Some of this will come through an extra 40 per cent it is allowed to keep from business rates, along with reviewing fees and charges and from the increase in the number of people required to pay council tax.
Coun Peter Wilkinson, cabinet member for economic development, added: "It is important that we do what we can to help our residents when their budgets are being stretched. With increases in the costs of power, people are hard up. If we don’t need to increase our council taxes then we certainly won’t.”
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