Craven Council set for a fourth council tax ‘freeze’

A council tax freeze for the fourth year running is poised to be approved by Craven Council.

Despite a strong indication by the leader of the council there would have to be an increase in this year’s precept, it looks likely to remain unchanged.

The council’s policy committee heard its financial head say the council was in a robust position and was well placed to cope with government budget cuts in 2015/16, widely expected to be the toughest yet.

Joanna Miller said the budget for the coming year would be £6.5 million and in addition the council could put £1.2 million into reserves to make itself “more financially resilient”.

“The key thing is we have a balanced budget and that is a really good news story for the council,” she added.

A council tax freeze is dependent on the council accepting central government’s freeze grant of £34,000.

Included in the budget is the passing on to parish and town councils of government grants totalling £77,000.

Although Craven Council looks likely to freeze its part of council tax, its precept makes up just ten per cent of the overall charge.

North Yorkshire County Council has indicated a possible increase in its precept of just under two per cent, the fire and rescue service has already approved a 1.99 per cent rise, the police are also looking at a hike and parish and town councils could also make increases.

The final figure will be known later this year.

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