Council Tax frozen for fourth year in a row

Martlock Town Hall
Martlock Town Hall

Council leaders say the public will not be asked to fund Government grant cuts as it proposes to freeze council tax for the fourth consecutive year.

Derbyshire Dales District Council plans to reduce the financial impact of funding cuts on residents by resisting the temptation to increase council tax, subject to agreement at a meeting on March 6.

The authority is instead opting to claim the one per cent equivalent council tax increase incentive offered by central Government to local councils that freeze charges.

This means the average council tax bill for district council services will remain at £189.66 per year – the equivalent to a weekly bill of £3.65, or 50p a day.

Council leader Councillor Lewis Rose said: “The big message is that, despite the continuing squeeze on local government finances, we remain determined to deliver the top priorities identified by our residents, such as building more affordable homes for local people, keeping the Dales clean and safe and, of course, saving money.

“To balance successive government grant cutbacks, we need to make additional savings of £1.9million over the next six years. Savings of £330,000 have already been identified following two reviews of our administration service and a merger of our grounds maintenance and street cleaning teams.

“We have launched a very detailed interrogation of how we deliver services to local people and these service reviews will continue into the future with two key aims: saving money and at the same time at least retaining – and hopefully improving, through efficiencies – the excellent standards we provide across our priorities.”

The authority faces a near £500,000 cut in grant funding from central government in 2014/15 on top of grant reductions of a 15.6 per cent last year and 16.2 per cent in 2012/13 – but the District Council is pledging there will be no service reductions in the coming year.

In recent weeks, residents have been having their say on the council’s budget at a series of community forums. Recommendations will be considered by a meeting on March 6.