October 20 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, March 6, 2014
A council tax rise and increased parking charges are on the way as two district councils continue to come to terms with the economic recession.
North Herts District Council’s budget for 2013/14, agreed last week, will see “efficiency savings” of £1.6million made.
The authority’s share of council tax is set to rise for the first time in two years, with a 1.9% increase – just over 7p per week for the average Band D property.
The council is looking to increase parking tariffs in its car parks by 13.45% in a bid to generate £157,000 in extra income.
A review of charges will be carried out on a car park by car park basis, with details on which areas will be affected expected to be announced by the council in a few weeks.
Cllr Terry Hone, the district council’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “The council has again undertaken to make significant efficiencies in order to achieve a balanced budget and we have, for the fourth year running, achieved this without seriously impacting frontline services.
“The council’s decision to increase its portion of council tax by 1.9%, or just over 1p per day, was not taken lightly, as we understand the difficult economic climate means there is still financial uncertainty for many people. However, we ultimately took the decision to ensure we can continue to provide the services most valued by residents, while making every effort to deliver services in the most cost-effective way.”
In South Cambridgeshire, the district council’s share of council tax is going up 1.99%, or 4p per week for an average Band D property.
The council has seen its central government grant funding cut, and Cllr Simon Edwards, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “The continued major cuts to our government grant means we are having to make really difficult decisions now, but more importantly we are looking at least five years into the future as plans need to be in place for when our government grant is totally withdrawn.
“By making smart investments now, which will deliver year on year returns, we will make sure we are in as good a position as possible to minimise the impact of the cuts.”