Council tax to be frozen for fourth year in a row
NOTTS County Council is set to announce it will freeze council tax for the fourth consecutive year at its budget meeting tomorrow.
The decision means, for example, that the bill for Band D householders will stay at £1,193.18 for the next financial year.
By choosing to freeze council tax the county council will be rewarded by the Government with one per cent of the frozen tax amount – which will work out at £3.1 million a year.
Councillor Reg Adair said: "This will be a major benefit to people up and down Nottinghamshire.
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"We will also get more than £3 million from the Government for doing so – but it is something we would have done anyway before the incentive."
The budget discussed tomorrow will reveal that a £132 million shortfall is forecast for the council over the next four years.
However Councillor Adair said: "When we started four years ago after the last election we had a £180 million shortfall. This is a forecast and we have put expenditure in there that might not happen.
"We will have to save that money out of the back room to continue to fund front-line services. It is a challenge but we are confident and have shown we can do it with how we dealt with the previous shortfall."
Councillor Adair added that the council's budget for this year was aimed at maintaining front-line services.
He said: "We are spending more money on children and young people.
"We are keeping our libraries open and extending our youth services.
"For example, West Bridgford library and young people's centre has had a £5.3 million refurbishment and is set to reopen on March 16.
"We've also pledged another million pounds to deal with potholes and are taking more vulnerable children into care.
"There is something in this budget for everyone."
The proposals also include £700,000 of extra funding to build on the £1 million the council previously allocated to its Olympic and Paralympic legacy programme of grants for local sports clubs.
It is also set to spend £250,000 each year until 2016-17 to install solar panels on the roof of County Hall.
And it plans to set aside £300,000 to carry out "essential improvements" to railways across the county over the next three years, as well as up to £500,000 to join up existing off-road cycle routes and bridleways across the county.
The budget will be discussed at a full council meeting from 10am tomorrow at County Hall.