CRAVEN residents are being urged to take part in the county council’s annual budget consultation as North Yorkshire faces the challenges of responding and recovering from the coronavirus.

North Yorkshire County Council is considering increasing its share of council tax next year by just under two per cent - or £27 per year for the average household - to help pay for the impact of the pandemic and for priority areas.

Councillor Carl Les, council leader, said: “We want to be a thriving county and pride ourselves on being a well-run authority, but the funding gaps in our budget create huge uncertainty. I would encourage everyone to take part and let us know their views on our council plan priorities, setting council tax for next year and our longer term plans.”

The authority, which is responsible for education, highways and social care, estimates that the pandemic will cost it an additional £82m this year from expenditure to support vulnerable residents and measures to combat Covid-19 and lost income from council tax and business rates.

It says it has already achieved savings of £173m, but needs to find a further £103m in the next three years.

Gary Fielding, director of resources, added: “With a reduction in funding alongside a significant increase in demand for services, the enormous financial pressures we are facing will continue.

“We’re committed to Covid-19 response and recovery, managing and maintaining roads, supporting adults and older people who need help to live independently and helping to make sure children and young people have the best possible start in life.

“These are unprecedented times, but it is crucial that we are able to continue delivering the help and support that people rely on and that key services are protected despite our funding challenges.”

People can take part in the consultation online at by January 11 to make sure their comments are included when the budget is discussed by the full council.

People can also take part in the consultation online at