North Yorkshire’s executive has today agreed a set of budget recommendations to ensure it is ready to face the challenges and unprecedented uncertainty of the years ahead.
By the end of 2018/19 the County Council will have secured over £157m in savings, with a further £40.3m required in the next three years to meet a £200m austerity challenge by 2021-22 – an overall reduction of nearly 40 per cent in its spending power since 2011.
The Council’s Executive heard today about plans to deliver £26m in savings over the next three years with a further £14m still to find - while continuing to work with communities and develop effective and leading-edge frontline services within these limited resources.
The budget package includes a recommendation for an increase in general council tax next year of 2.99% along with a 2% social care precept, making a total of 4.99%. This is then followed by an increase in general council tax alone of 1.99% for each year thereafter up to 2021/22 to enable the authority to prioritise frontline services.
The overall 4.99% increase would be equivalent to just over £5 a month for an average household or £1.20p per week.
North Yorkshire County Council leader Councillor Carl Les said: “North Yorkshire has a reputation nationally for its top quality and innovative services and sound financial management. We will continue to do the best we can for our communities, to deliver good education and social care for young and old, to keep the county on the move and support economic growth.
“Yet, demand for our services continues to increase at a time when there has never been such uncertainty over future funding levels and we are still waiting for the government ‘s spending review and the adult social care green paper.
“This year’s budget is characterised by over £23m of additional demand-led pressures, particularly in the areas of social care for both children and adults. This is evidence that we continue to prioritise the needs of our most vulnerable members.”
For example, the county council is investing a further £11.6m of its own money over the next three years into the high needs block for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities as government funding falls short of the level of demand.
Cllr Gareth Dadd, deputy leader and executive member for finance said at today’s meeting: “During austerity our priority was to protect the most vulnerable and we will continue to do so. We face a £14m black hole and must look to make further savings but we will also seek solutions to do the right thing for our communities.
“We would wish to thank all those who have given their views to our recent Your Services Your Say consultation. These are important decisions that affect living in North Yorkshire, so I’m grateful to all the residents who took the time to respond either online or through the events we have hosted across the county.”
Note to editors:
With responsibility for the welfare and education of more than 128,000 children and young people in North Yorkshire, the council spends £88m on children’s services each year, £22m of that on home-to-school transport alone.
The council also supports thousands of older people and younger adults, including people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental ill health, as well as their carers. Adult social care services are delivered in numerous ways and include prevention, reablement and supporting people to live independently in their own homes as well as living in residential and nursing care.
The council spends about 40 per cent of its overall budget – almost £250m – on public health and adult social care, supporting people to live longer, healthier, more independent lives.
More than £100m is spent each year on areas such as waste, highways and winter gritting and the council is responsible for one of the largest and most diverse road networks in England, covering 5,800 miles of roads and 1,630 bridges. The council is also responsible for disposing of the household waste collected by district councils, processing 6,000 tonnes of black bag waste every week at the Allerton Waste Recovery Park.