The Government’s funding plans for local authorities have confirmed North YorkshireCounty Council’s assessment that it is in an ‘extremely challenging’ situation – particularly for the financial year 2015-16.
The financial settlement for local government, announced this morning, has reinforced the Council’s analysis that major savings are still required to meet the severe restraints on budgets, and that a rise in council tax – the first in four years – could be necessary.
County Councillor John Weighell, the Leader of North Yorkshire County Council said:
The announcement by the Government today is just as difficult as we had anticipated.
It confirms the accuracy of our planning, and unfortunately emphasises the extremely difficult and challenging predicament in which we find ourselves.
The County Council is on track to save £94m over the four years ending in March 2015, and the announcement today confirms that it will have to find a further £77m over the next four years.
The council does not increase council tax, it will therefore have to find a further £2.3m in savings, in addition to those already planned.
This represents a cut in the council’s spending power of more than a third in eight years.
Members of North Yorkshire County Council will be asked in February to approve the authority’s budget for 2014/15. Although no firm decisions have yet been made, its financial strategy is predicated on a rise in council tax of 2%.