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Craven District Council

CDC Budget 2018/19 recommended for approval

Craven District Council’s Policy Committee last night (FEB 6) unveiled a fully funded and balanced Revenue Budget of £6,788,689 for 2018/19.

Councillors are recommending an increase of council tax at Band D by £5 a year to £167.21. The budget has been recommended for approval at Full Council on February 27, 2017.

Council tax was frozen in Craven for five years in a row but has been increased by £5 in each of the last two budgets, as the Government has removed the Council Tax Freeze Grant and is reducing the Revenue Support Grant down to zero by April 2019.

The overall Revenue Support Grant from the Government for the council this year is £141,000, a reduction of 60% from 2017/18, a loss in cash terms of £212,000.

Councillor Richard Foster, Leader of the Council said: “We are proud of the services we continue to provide for our residents, for just £3.22 per week. We have continued to maintain and develop services, creating ambitious plans for the future, while cutting costs and increasing income wherever possible, and we have made savings of £110,000 over the last year.

“Given the huge pressures facing local government the council has done very well to put forward a robust and balanced budget. Once again we face difficult decisions due to the ongoing reduction in support from Central Government. Here in Craven our Revenue Support Grant has been reduced by 60% from 2017/18, and the grant will disappear altogether by 2019.

“We feel the best option to maintain services within Craven, is to increase council tax by a small amount – less than 10p a week for the average household.

“To avoid cuts to services, we are also proposing to use £100,000 of the New Homes Bonus in 2018/19, to support the budget in the short term.

“In our Budget consultation our residents told us that the services we provide are important to them. There was a high level of support for increasing council tax charges.

“We are determined to continue to deliver excellent value for money. If this budget is approved by full council, residents will pay just £3.22 per week for all the services we provide, including bin collections, street cleansing, recycling, environmental health, planning, economic development, community events, Craven Leisure, Skipton Town Hall and Craven Museum & Gallery.”

The proposed 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 £995,000 for unforeseen outgoings.

For 2018/19 a further £185,000 of savings and income have been included within the recommended budget, rising to £219,000 in 2019/20.

Craven District Council tax makes up less than 10 per cent of the total council tax bill. In 2018/19 this will equate to £3.22 per week for district council services for an average Band D property, if the budget is approved. Other authorities (the county council, police, fire service and parishes) set their own rates for their proportion and this is collected on their behalf by Craven District Council.

As part of the budget setting process for 2017/18 the Council confirmed that it would continue to provide grant assistance to parishes. The assistance for parishes is reducing in line with the reduction in the Council’s Revenue Support Grant or parish need whichever is the smaller. For 2018/19 a total of £4,000 will be made available to parishes for assistance should they require it. Grant support will cease from 2019/20.

Final approval of the budget and setting of the Council Tax will be made at the Full Council meeting on February 27.