Council Tax increase proposed to protect Cambridgeshire’s frontline services

PUBLISHED: 14:59 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:06 15 January 2014

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Archant

Council Tax is set to increase by almost two per cent next year.

Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet members have agreed to a 1.99 per cent hike in 2014/5 to help protect frontline services.

The council, which has saved £74 million over the past two years, needs to make nearly £149 million in savings over the next five years.

Cambridgeshire faces a reduction in their government funding of 20.9 per cent (£29.9m) over the next two financial years.

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Martin Curtis, said: “This is a very tough time for councils and especially Cambridgeshire.

“We are one of the hardest hit authorities in the country in terms of funding and yet we are trying to deliver the most growth.

“We have already saved tens of millions of pounds by making savings where people would expect whilst having very limited reserves. “But we are also being innovative with such projects as sharing services with other councils as well as being a UK leader in better use of public sector buildings with our partners.

“However, the scale of savings we now need to make means we have to make tough decisions and inevitably some regrettable cuts to frontline services.

“But these cuts are necessary so that we can continue to make sure we protect the most vulnerable while supporting the local economy and jobs.”

Investment will continue for transport projects such as Cambridge Science Park station, Ely bypass and improvements to the Kings Dyke rail crossing.

The council will look to lease the Castle Court building on the Shire Hall site in Cambridge.

The proposed budget, which forms the county council’s Business Plan, is subject to change. A final version will be debated by full council next month.

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