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CDC Budget 2015/16

Craven District Council's Policy Committee last night unveiled a fully funded and balanced Revenue Budget of £7.168m for 2015/16. The budget has been recommended for approval at Full Council on 24th February 2015.

The recommended budget will be funded by the Council's projected revenues and a contribution from the Council's reserves. The council will maintain A General Fund Balance of £995k for unforeseen outgoings.

Councillors also voted to freeze council tax for a fifth year in a row and accepted the Government's offer of the 2015/16 Council Tax Freeze Grant, estimated at £35K which is equivalent to a 1% increase in Council Tax.

While this is good news for Craven residents, Craven District Council Tax makes up only ten per cent of the total Council Tax bill. This equates to less than £3 per week for district council services for an average Band D property. Other parties (the county council, police, fire service and parishes) set their own rates for their proportion and this is collected on their behalf by CDC.

As part of the budget setting process the Council has confirmed that it would continue to provide assistance to parishes and so for 2015/16 the Budget also includes £57k of grant funding to Parishes. The assistance for parishes will reduce in line with the reduction in the Council's revenue support grant from central government.

There will be no increase in car parking charges for the third year in a row (held again at 2011/12 rates) and additional savings achieved in 2014/15 of £130k are included within the budget.

Councillor Richard Foster, Leader of the Council says: "In setting this budget we had planned for a further reduction in support from Central Government and here in Craven this proved to be a further cut of 27.9% in our Revenue Support Grant a loss in cash terms of £443k. Over the last year we have continued to cut costs wherever possible and we are on track to deliver an underspend against the budget for 2014/15 reflecting the prudent approach taken. Savings of £130k made over the last year lead to a cumulative savings total of £541k. Given the pressures facing local government notwithstanding the cuts in central government funding the Council has done very well to put forward a robust and balanced budget with a small contribution from the General Fund and without an increase in Council Tax. I would like to thank the continued support of our residents and Council staff which has enabled us to make these savings. Looking ahead it is imperative that we sustain our income levels and realise the savings that have been built into this year's plan."

Final approval of the budget and setting of the Council Tax will be made at the Full Council meeting on 24th February 2015.