Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Craven District Council considers two per cent rise in council tax
12:00pm Friday 8th February 2013 in News
Craven District Council could be the only main local authority in the area to increase council tax this year.
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is expected to freeze its precept at a meeting on Wednesday as is the county council when it meets in two weeks’ time.
Julia Mulligan, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, has also indicated she has no intention of increasing the police precept.
Coun Chris Knowles-Fitton, the leader of Craven District Council, which is due to set its precept on the same day as the county council, has already hinted that Craven is highly likely to increase its share of the precept for 2013 by two per cent – adding 5p per week to the bill of an average household.
Coun Chris Knowles-Fitton (Cons) told a budget meeting, jointly held by the district and county councils and the police commissioner in January, that the council was against building up problems for future years and was looking at increasing its precept by the maximum amount.
County Coun John Weighell, (Cons) leader of North Yorkshire County Council, who told the same joint budget meeting in Skipton that the council was “highly likely” to approve a no increase, said this week: “We know that many households are struggling financially. That is why we are pleased to be able to be proposing to freeze council tax for the third year in succession, this will have saved the average household £95 over the three years.”
Councillors, who are due to meet to set the council budget on Wednesday, February 20, will also have to consider further savings following a reduced local government settlement.
The additional savings of around £23 million over the next two years come on top of savings of £69 million already being implemented by the council.
The council is expected to identify additional savings towards the end of the summer, but they are likely to include charging for services and reducing demand on health related services. They are likely to hit front line services.
In the meantime, the county council, along with other local authorities, has lobbied the government about its grant allocation on the grounds rural councils have fared worse than urban authorities.
Coun Weighell said: “There is some cause for optimism that this may result in a reduction in the level of savings needed, perhaps by £1 million or £2 million.”