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Freeze in council tax recommended by Ryedale Council

Ryedale House..Picture Richard Ponter 130238c

Ryedale House..Picture Richard Ponter 130238c

Residents are in line for a freeze in the amount of council tax they pay to Ryedale District Council.

If finalised at the council’s final budget meeting later this month, it will be the fifth consecutive year there has been a zero per cent increase in its share of the council tax.

“It is a case of putting money back into the pockets of the tax payers of Ryedale,” said Cllr Luke Ives, a member of the Conservative Party. “It is something to applaud and we should shout it from the rooftops.”

Cllrs Tommy Woodward and Sarah Ward, both of the Liberal Party, lost out in their argument for a 1.99 per cent rise in council tax, a “sensible” move which they said would increase the budget slightly and help protect services from cuts in the future.

North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire County Council are both recommending a 1.99 per cent increase in their share of council tax while North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue will make its decision later today.

Ryedale District Council is able to recommend a council tax freeze, mainly receiving £67,000 more then expected in its Revenue Support Grant settlement from the Government.

Among other moves which have benefited the council financially are the creation of a business rates pool with other authorities and a four per cent increase in its council tax base.

By setting a zero per cent increase, the council will also receive a 1 per cent grant from the Government - equivalent to £38,000.

Service cuts totalling £170,000 have also eased the council’s financial burden.

These include the introduction of charging for garden waste collections, closure of the Tourist Information Centres in Helmsley and Malton, and reduction in parish grants.

Nevertheless, Ryedale’s chief financial officer Paul Cresswell said £193,000 of its £1.127m New Home Bonus for 2014/15 will need to be put into the budget to help balance the books.

“By drip feeding New Homes Bonus money into the budget, it allows services to be protected as much as possible,“ he told members of the Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday.

Mr Cresswell described it as a “robust budget,” adding “I think we are in a strong position going forward.”

It will also be recommended that the remaining £952,000 of the New Homes Bonus will be put into a separate reserve so “we can show this is what we got from this money,” said Cllr Ives.

Ryedale District Council’s revenue budget for 2014/15 is recommended at £7,175,230 and will equate to £176.72 for a Band D property - not including the council tax payable to the police, county council, fire service and respective parish councils.

 

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