Back in February, the Leader of the City of York Council, Cllr James Alexander, set out Labour's budget plans for the next two years.
Under the Conservative - Liberal Democrat government, the council has been forced to cut £74.3 million from its budget.
The government's cuts, which will increase over the next two years, alongside increasing costs and demand for Adult Social Care in particular, have placed council services under great pressure.
By the end of 2015/16, it is thought that the council will have had to lose over 700 staff.
Even though the council has cut £12 million from its back office costs in order to focus spending on front line services, and management has been cut by 40%, it isn't possible to make cuts on the scale demanded by the government without it having a real impact on services.
Labour's approach means we're investing jobs and delivering the homes that York people need, along with rejecting the government's council tax con. As a result, we're be able to protect about £5 million of expenditure next year.
Labour's budget proposes:
- A 37p a week rise in council tax dedicated to increasing funding to meet growing demand for Adult Social Care - providing services for elderly residents and those with disabilities.
- Protecting the core Children's Services budget - protecting and educating our children.
- Reducing revenue commitments to the Museums Trust and the Theatre Royal.
- Bringing forward capital investment in roads and footpaths so that we spend an additional £1.8 million overall on these next year (£2.3m extra from the capital budget).
- Making capital investments in the fabric of our communities: replacing worn out streetlights, improving children's play areas, purchasing alley gates.
- We will also bring forward proposals to replace the Minster parking badge to ensure that cheaper parking for residents in council-run car parks is not abused by non-residents, whilst ensuring that residents continue to receive value for money.
In order to protect vital services in the long term, as demand rises and funding shrinks, we have also announced that we will task a senior member of council staff with re-examining how some services are organised and delivered. In common with the LGA, we now believe that it may be necessary to undertake a basic "rewiring" of essential services to make sure that they provide value for money and that residents can continue to rely on them in the future.
You can read Cllr Alexander's remarks in full by clicking here.
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