Cambridgeshire County Council agrees 3% Council Tax increase for next financial year
CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council today agreed a three per cent Council Tax increase for the next financial years, the second smallest increase in the last decade. The rise equates to an extra �30 a year on the average Band D property bill, but comes against
CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council today agreed a three per cent Council Tax increase for the next financial years, the second smallest increase in the last decade.
The rise equates to an extra �30 a year on the average Band D property bill, but comes against a stark backdrop with the county council's spending power set to shrink by 20 per cent over the next five years.
Councillors were told that the 2010/2011 budget will create a leaner, more efficient council which targets services to those in greatest need.
The pressures of inflation, an increasing population especially among the older population, more demand for services and the anticipated sharp reduction in government funding have all created huge pressure on the budget.
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County council leader Jill Tuck, told councillors: "We have taken difficult decisions. We have shown strong, decisive leadership in doing so.
"We will target services to those most in need, continue to work with our public service partners to find more efficient ways of working. Above all, we will protect services for the most vulnerable."
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Cllr Tuck added: "We fully understand the pressures on household budgets. Our decision to raise council tax by three per cent has been considered extremely carefully in light of this.
"It is worth remembering that Cambridgeshire will still have one of the lowest levels of Council Tax in the country."
Councillors were also told that the county council's integrated plan would respond to the priorities of residents - with �3million over the three years to tackle potholes and repair roads after the worst winter for decades, and �16 million for new primary school buildings.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet member for resources and performance, said: "This is not a situation of our making, but is one we have to respond to.
"The Government's bailing out of the banks has left public services with a huge debt to repay. And to add insult to injury, yet again Cambridgeshire received an average grant settlement this year.
"We have to strike a balance between protecting essential services and keeping the council tax increase a minimum, which we have done.