York council tax to rise by 3.5%

The budget is in – and York council taxpayers are looking at a rise in our bills of 3.5%.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition which runs the council has revealed the books for 2018-19.

As well as their spending and saving plans, councillors revealed that the basic council tax would rise by 1.99% with a further 1.5% on the social care precept, used to pay for social care services.

That’s a grand total of 3.49%.

The coalition also agreed these investments:

  • £2.96m extra for adult social care covering the cost of adults as they transition from Children’s Services
  • £759k to cover ‘unavoidable contractual price increases’ mainly in waste services, concessionary fares and children’s services
  • £373k to fund the continued development of the Local Plan
  • £100k for Education Psychology staffing to support children with special education needs and disabilities.

To pay for this savings of almost £5 million are proposed, as well as the council tax increase.

Capital spending

It’s all about the money… Photograph © Peter Czerwinski on Wikipedia / lensicle

The council is also proposing major new capital investment totalling £54.7m over the next five years.

Altogether £32.6m of this comes from the housing revenue account – cash from council housing. Another £11.5m comes from various external funds, and £10.6m from council borrowing.

This will be spent on…

  • housing – £32.6m
  • highways – £4.4m
  • transport – £8m
  • disabled facilities grants – £2.5m
  • information technology development – £3m

“We have a strong financial position that has allowed us to continue to invest in services that meet the needs of our ageing population, whilst at the same time invest in housing and innovative new traffic solutions like electric buses and smarter travel solutions,” said council leader David Carr.

Deputy council leader Andrew Waller said: “Listening to residents about their priorities, the majority recognised the pressures in adult social care.

“As a result, we are investing more to support children transition from child to adult services and making sure we are better placed to alleviate winter pressures.”

Several major schemes are not considered in detail in the budget and will be brought to members as individual reports.

These include Guildhall, York Castle Gateway, York Central and York Outer Ring Road.

The budget will be considered by the executive on February 8, and full council on February 22.

Read the full papers here.