Liberal Democrat budget plans announced today will help protect local frontline services in the face of huge government cuts.
Key proposals include:
- Doubling long-term investment in roads and footpaths to £20million
- More money for gulley cleaning, gritting and litter bins
- Supporting renewable energy to make York the Greenest City in the North
- More support for mental health services and care for the elderly
- Keeping your council tax one of the lowest in the country
The proposals will see investment in roads and footpaths doubled to £20million over the next 5 years alongside new litter bins, extra gulley cleaning and gritting. The plans will mean extra investment in mental health services, libraries, and funding for renewable energy to help York become the Greenest City in the North. The proposals also include a new local-area approach to tackling poverty.
The budget comes in the face of unprecedented cuts by the Conservative Government. York’s grant will be slashed by over 50% (£6.3million) next year, and between 2016 and 2020 £21.7million of savings are being made. This comes at the same time as growing cost pressures due to an ageing population and the national financial crisis in social care and the NHS.
The Council will therefore use the Government’s 3% social care precept to fund services to elderly and vulnerable people in York. Added to this will be a 0.7% increase in general Council Tax.
This balance will help us to protect the frontline services that matter to you whilst ensuring York continues to have one of the lowest council tax rates in the country.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Deputy Leader of City of York Council, commented:
“Liberal Democrat councillors, as part of the joint executive, are working hard to protect and invest in crucial frontline services across York. Next year we are putting additional money into areas such as road repairs and pothole prevention, gulley cleaning, litter bins and protecting areas such as local community ward budgets and services to vulnerable children and adults.
“This effort comes despite unprecedented national cuts, which will see the central grant given to York all but wiped out by 2020. The Conservative Government is starving local councils of funding. However, by making savings in areas such as senior management costs and taking a balanced approach to Council Tax we are working to protect the frontline services that matter most in your area.”
Full details of the budget will be published here: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=9310
The full budget report will be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 9 February. Full Council will debate the budget and have final approval on 23 Feb.