North Yorkshire County Council welcomes Government cash - but stressed that "huge challenges" remain
North Yorkshire County Council has welcomed extra funding announced yesterday (Dec 16) in the Local Government Funding Settlement – but stresses that the authority continues to face enormous challenges and pressures.
The authority received news that it would benefit from a further £10m in the settlement as part of increased funding in light of the extra pressures particularly in social care and the Covid pandemic.
Even before the settlement, the authority anticipated that it would need to find just under £19m of savings over the coming years.
Cllr Gareth Dadd, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance, said: “The additional money is very welcome.
"However, this continues to be a turbulent time.
"We remain in the midst of the pandemic and are responding to the increased pressures this puts on the county’s communities and economy, as well as our own resources.
“At the same time, long-term challenges continue to grow, as we deal with massive pressures in the social care markets and unprecedented levels of inflation and national insurance contributions.
"This means that as welcome as the extra money is, it is already more than accounted for.”
Under Government rules, the authority is able to raise council tax by up to 1.99% from April, plus up to a further 2.49% for the adult social care precept.
County Council leader Cllr Carl Les said: “Putting up council tax is never an easy option for this authority.
"We have always striven to be moderate in our increases.
“In considering the level of council tax, we must understand and balance the hardship families are currently facing and the added pressure a council tax increase may bring with the need to fund essential services to support the most vulnerable in our communities through this critical period.
“We continue to feel that residents in North Yorkshire pay too much council tax, particularly in comparison to London, and urge the Government to press on with funding reform to create a fairer solution for rural counties.”
The coming year will be the County Council’s last before the merger of the county and seven district and borough councils into one new authority.
In this final year, the council remains as ambitious as ever for its residents and committed to ensuring strong foundations for the new council.
Cllr Les added: “We are currently developing our Council Plan and budget and encourage residents to have their say on our budget, ambitions and priorities.”
Log on to www.northyorks.gov.uk/our-challenge-your-services-your-say-budget-consultation to give your views.