York budget 2020: 4% on council tax, £4m cuts – but spending on roads and the climate emergency

Photograph: York skyline by pxhere / fiver by Philip Veater on Unsplash

The council is set to invest more money in adult social care, community services and tackling climate change – as senior councillors set out their spending plans for the next year.

Council tax is set to rise 3.99 per cent in April – generating an extra £3.593m for the local authority.

Under the Liberal Democrat and Green Party-led administration, £25K will be put towards electric vehicle charging points, £77K will go to promoting apprenticeships and £60K will be invested in taxi licence enforcement.

The plans also include £275K for a pothole repair team, £200K for better playgrounds and £500K for making school buildings accessible.

But the council will also need to make £4 million of cuts a year for the next four years – with savings for this year coming from a reduction in funding for homelessness, customer services and community healthcare.

Financial pressures

Leader of City of York Council Keith Aspden
The council said government grants have been reduced by £52m over the last decade.

Leader of City of York Council, Keith Aspden, said:

  • Councils across the country are continuing to face unprecedented financial pressures.

    Nonetheless, we have worked hard to ensure that resident’s priorities are reflected in this year’s council, from protecting our frontline services to tackling climate emergency.

    These proposals, including a new neighbourhood street service, further funding to improve our roads and initiatives to tackle the climate emergency, correlate with views received from residents, business and communities.

Cllr Aspden added that more than 800 people were consulted with spending priorities before the budget was confirmed.

Deputy Leader of York Council, Cllr Andy D’Agorne, said: “With a reduction in central funding and increasing demand on our services it is important we work with our partners to support the vulnerable, empower local communities and become a greener clearer city.”

The budget report, prepared for a meeting next Thursday, says York has the fourth lowest band D council tax out of 55 unitary councils in England – but does not say what the charge will be for the next financial year.