Council tax to be frozen for the third year
EAST Riding Council is set to freeze its council tax charges to households for the third year running.
The move has been recommended by the authority's cabinet and is expected to be rubber- stamped at a full council meeting next week.
However, final confirmation of the figures will have to wait until early March because police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove has recently announced a public consultation over options for the police precept.
Subject to approval next week, it means a Band A household in the East Riding will pay £808.13 for services provided by the council. A Band D property will pay £1,212.20 from April.
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It is widely believed Mr Grove will attempt to avoid any increase in the police precept.
Humberside Fire Authority is also expected to freeze its precept charge for the coming year.
However, some town and parish councils in the East Riding are expected to agree increases in their precepts.
East Riding Council leader Councillor Stephen Parnaby said freezing the authority's share of the council tax had been made possible through a one-off £1.4m grant from the Government.
He said the continuing freeze on bills should be welcome news to hard-pressed households.
As well as the council tax freeze, the cabinet also agreed to recommend a budget with £25m worth of savings proposals.
Cllr Parnaby said: "The council has a proactive financial strategy that has enabled us to plan ahead for the large cutbacks in national funding and I am proud we have had neither the mass redundancies not the closure of frontline services that have occurred in many other areas.
"I would like to add that, despite the reduced budgets, the council continues through its capital funding to invest in large-scale projects that benefit the local economy as well as resulting in much-improved infrastructure."
Despite the continuing freeze, a cabinet report shows officials at County Hall are assuming an annual 2 per cent increase in council tax charges from next year.
The majority of the proposed staffing savings involve not filling vacant posts.
However, they also include reductions in staff at the council's network of children's centres.
In addition, some fees and charges levied by the council for certain services are being increased to generate cash.
A 2.9 per cent increase is prices at the authority's leisure centres will be phased in over two years while a 3 per cent hike in fees and charges at cemeteries will be introduced from April.
Stall rents at markets run by the council will also go up by 3 per cent.
Government funding to the council has reduced by £16.1m since 2010 as a result of a squeeze on public spending with a further £31.2m of funding cuts expected over the next two years.