North Yorkshire County Council set to agree 4% council tax rise

County Hall, Northallerton.

Taxpayers look set to be asked to pay four per cent more council tax to a local authority despite it having received its first real terms increase in government funding since the start of austerity.

The proposed increase in North Yorkshire, scheduled to be decided at a full meeting of the county council on February 26, would cost the average Band D household £52.31 more a year to fund the authority’s element of council tax bills.

Parish, district or borough, fire service and police precepts are added to the county council’s levy to make the total council tax bill householders have to pay.

The increase would see householders in the lowest rating band A properties pay the authority £908.98 next year, while those in the highest rated band H homes would contribute £2,726.94 towards the Tory-led county council.

The authority’s leader, Councillor Carl Les, said it was “with regret” that the council was asking for a two per cent council tax rise and a further two per cent more to pay for spiralling adult social care costs, despite the government announcing a 4.4 per cent real-terms increase in council “Core Spending Power” in December.

He said each one per cent council tax rise equated to £3m of income for the council, which was needed to maintain frontline services.

The proposed rise is the most the government would allow without a residents’ referendum being triggered.

A report to the authority’s executive states  much of the financial pressure on the authority arises from the rising cost of adult social care placements and services for children with special educational needs and disabilities. It states: “Demand now features as a greater financial challenge than the reductions in government funding.”

The executive will hear by April, the council will have delivered £172.9m of savings since 2011, but  a further £39.5m will need to be cut from the budget over the next four years to balance the books. This would mean the council’s spending power would have fallen by just under 40 per cent since 2011.

The report warns if government funding were to drop further, given the scale of savings so far, “it is likely that any further savings will impact more directly upon frontline services”. It states: “After nine years of austerity it is inevitable that savings proposals are harder to identify; involve some greater element of risk; and are then harder to deliver.”

Leader of the Independents group on the authority, Councillor Stuart Parsons, questioned why if austerity had ended as Conservative leaders have claimed, the council was proposing £39.5m of cuts over the next four years.

He said the council had failed to take the government to task over obvious errors in the way schools are funded which impacted on the council’s ability to fund services.

Cllr Parsons added: “The government talks about social care, but actually it does nothing and in the meantime we are having to reduce the care offered to those relying on council services.”

4 Comments

  1. If we pay more we should get more. Refuse and recycling should be weekly. Having your bin emptied every 2 weeks is a health hazard

  2. There won’t be many ratepayers whose income will rise by 4% in the next 12 months so why does this authority feel it’s ok to help themselves to yet more of our dwindling income? It seems unfair that they can award themselves rises above the rate of inflation.

  3. Is this the same council who have managed to find £500,000 to loan to Welcome to Yorkshire!!!!
    I knew the council tax would rise & believe that some of it is due to funding the police & ambulance service for overseeing the Tour de Yorkshire. I don’t mind paying extra for adult social care or towards special education but I really begrudge paying for a load of cyclists!!!

  4. It goes against everything I value as fair and reasonable. Time for a revolution! If only.

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