North Yorkshire welcomes today’s provisional local government finance settlement as the Government has announced extra funding of around £5m for the county council next year.
The county council’s budget position remains challenging as it continues to face the effects of austerity. But the council welcomes changes to the finance settlement, which sees reversals that the council has been calling for to some reductions.
“We welcome the changes in the settlement” said County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader. “We would like to thank the Minister for listening to us and would also thank our MPs who have put North Yorkshire’s case to the Government.
“We are also delighted that we have been successful in our bid, along with our seven district councils, to join a business rate retention scheme with West Yorkshire councils. The scheme means that we will work across North and West Yorkshire councils and will retain more of the business rates generated in our local communities. That means we can secure further investment in infrastructure across North and West Yorkshire.”
The county council will now take stock of the settlement and pull together its budget for 2019/20 including savings proposals. The county council estimates that it still needs to make savings of £40m over the next three years and proposals are being drafted for the county council to consider at its meeting on 20 February 2019. This is on top of the £157m of savings that will have been delivered by the end of the current financial year.
North Yorkshire residents are being urged to give their views on the county council’s approach to making savings. People can take part in the Your Services, Your Say annual budget consultation online.
Cllr Les added: "As a result of demand increasing and our total funding decreasing, we estimate that by the end of austerity, every £1 we had to spend on services will have fallen to about 60p. That’s why it is really important that people take part in this consultation and we hear what they think."