York council tax to rise by 3.5% – well above inflation


York council tax is to rise by 3.25 per cent – with extra money for adult social care and children’s services as well as libraries, waste collection and roads.

City chiefs revealed their budget for the next financial year, which would see bills go up by significantly more than inflation – the consumer price index was 2.1% in December 2018.

The council tax increase, which would come into force in April, would mean a Band D household would pay an extra £43 a year and will bring in almost £2.8m extra funding for council coffers.

Council leader Ian Gillies said: “Setting the budget this year has been difficult. Our focus has been on protecting vital public services but also minimising the impact these changes have on our residents and businesses.”

Budget papers released today say an extra £3.9m will be invested in adult social care, £340K in waste and street cleaning services and £800K more for children’s services.

Almost £13.8m will be spent on highways, an extra £5.9m on school buildings and £4.3m will be invested in libraries to ensure that no staffed libraries shut.

Frontline services

Council leader and deputy – Ian Gillies and Andrew Waller
Deputy leader Cllr Andrew Waller added: “This proposed budget demonstrates our continued commitment to protect and invest in the city’s frontline services, such as road repairs and street cleaning, which matter to our residents.”

But savings of £4.3m will be made, with plans to cut £463K from the current older persons’ accommodation programme and £160K from the supported employment programme.

Another £200K is saved by asking Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group to contribute more money to continuing health care.

And the authority will look to save £725K by selling some of its less profitable commercial assets.

Cost of death rises

The entrance to York Crematorium. Photograph © Google Street View

Extra funds are also expected from a 2.5 per cent increase in crematorium and registrars’ office fees.

Car parking and Respark charges will not increase.

The budget report will be considered at a council executive meeting on February 14 before the plans are considered at a full council meeting on February 28.

Residents were invited to have their say on the budget as part of a consultation.

The 3.25 per cent increase is made up of a 1.75 per cent increase in council tax and a 1.5 per cent increase to the social care precept.

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