Council tax rise ‘not an easy decision’

Cllr Stephen Parnaby OBE
Cllr Stephen Parnaby OBE

Bills will rise by just under 5% after members agreed to back the proposed council tax increase.

The leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council has insisted its 2017/18 budget is “open and honest”.

Financial forecasts show that the council needs to deliver £48.2 million of savings from its annual budget to meet Government funding reductions, inflation and service pressures over the next four years.

It has identified ways of saving £38.2 million, but that leaves a shortfall of 
£10 million.

Cllr Stephen Parnaby, OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Last year, after five years of council tax freezes, we reluctantly but unanimously, had to take the decision to increase council tax and we are having to do it again for 2017/18.

“I do understand this is not an easy decision for members but given the funding crisis that is hitting health and social care budgets across the country then we have to tackle our responsibilities and in doing so give assurances to residents in need of care that we will do everything to ensure their needs will be met.

“I am confident we can maintain and deliver services that residents expect and deserve, but only with the increase in council tax.

“To do anything less would be abdicating our responsibilities, not being honest and potentially storing problems up elsewhere for the future.”

The 4.99% increase is the highest the authority can introduce without putting the idea to a public referendum, and 3% of it must be spent on adult social care.

The annual cost of adult social care in the East Riding is estimated to increase by £21.3 million by 2020/21 and the Government.

“With the 4.99 per cent raise in council tax, which includes the three per cent adult social care precept introduced by the Government in recognition of the funding shortfall, we will make sure we make every penny of taxpayers’ money count in the service we provide to residents.

“Every year since 2010, we have had to make huge savings in our annual budget and we have successfully achieved this through strong financial management and effective forward planning and will continue to do this while protecting, maintaining and improving, where possible, the high quality services we provide to residents, communities and businesses.

“The budget is open, honest and with no hidden agendas. It is based on sound financial management in the best interests of East Riding residents, businesses and visitors.

“Above all, despite many challenges, it is deliverable and protects services that people deserve.”

As part of the process of setting its budget, East Riding of Yorkshire Council held consultation events attended by members of the public and residents were able to give feedback via an online budget survey, which the council said proved to be very popular this year.

Band Cost Increase

Band A £882.31 £41.93

Band B £1,029.36 £48.92

Band C £1,176.42 £55.91

Band D £1,323.47 £62.90

Band E £1,617.58 £76.88

Band F £1,911.68 £90.86

Band G £2,205.78 £104.83

Band H £2,646.94 £125.80