Council tax freeze approved by Northamptonshire County Council

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A proposal to maintain council tax levels has been approved by Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet after hearing that nearly 90 per cent of residents taking part in its budget consultation were in favour of a tax freeze.

The cabinet meeting took place today to agree its budget for 2013-14 which sets a net revenue budget of £437.859 million and a total expenditure budget of £1.116 billion.

The 2013-14 budget, which set out the cabinet’s response to continued reductions in government funding and growing demand for services for older people and children in care, incorporates £33.6 million of savings in the coming financial year. This is part of the overall saving requirement of £77.5 million over the next three years.

The budget covers year two of a four-year framework. The freezing of council tax means that a Band D rate for 2013-14 would remain at £1,028.11 if the budget is approved at full council later in the month.

Council leader, Councillor Jim Harker (Con, Kettering Rural) said: “When we launched our four-year framework last year, we promised to freeze council tax, to make further back-office savings and find new ways to work in partnership to help save money even further. We made a commitment to continuing to support the county’s growth and prosperity and to providing services where people can’t help themselves.

“As we enter the second year of that framework, I’m pleased to be able to say that we’ve continued to press ahead in all those areas to ensure our limited resources are targeted in the right places.”

Councillor Bill Parker (Con, Brambleside), cabinet member for finance, said: “More than 1,700 people or organisations took part in the budget consultation and the overwhelming majority agreed with our proposal to freeze council tax.

“We will continue to remodel our services to find pioneering ways of achieving savings while protecting the most vulnerable people in the county.”

Of those taking part in the budget consultation, 88.1 per cent agreed with the proposal to freeze council tax levels.

The budget will be presented to the next full council meeting on Thursday, February 21.