View Full Version : Good news on council tax front

03-Feb-12, 10:17
Freeze recommended for the fifth successive

HIGHLAND COUNCIL is being recommended to freeze the Council Tax for a fifth successive year and confirm a budget of £602 million for 2012-13 when it meets on Thursday 9 February.
Through its three-year budget setting process, the Council has already identified savings of £18.6 million for 2012-13. There will be no need for new cuts in next year’s budget and the Council is now in a position to invest £4.55 million in key frontline services. These include:-

£2 million extra be spent on road maintenance, such as filling pot holes and improving drainage;
£1 million on keeping older people fit, healthy and safe at home;
£650,000 on enhanced pupil support in the classroom;
£250,000 on fostering and adoptions;
£250,000 on children disability teams;
£200,00 on employability/youth employment; and
£200,000 for supporting management in smaller primary schools.
Budget Leader Councillor David Alston said: “I am pleased to report that the Council needs to make no further cutbacks in setting its budget for 2012/13. We planned ahead and made the difficult decisions well in advance. As a result have no further savings to find this year and will spend £602m on the services we provide for the public.
“This shows both the value of three-year budgeting and of asking the public for their views on proposed savings. Our budget consultation in 2010 was one of the most comprehensive consultations carried out by any Council in Scotland.
“I am also pleased that we will be able to maintain our capital programme at its current level, spending £75m on building projects, including schools, roads, care homes and flood prevention schemes. This is good news for local contractors and the wider economy of the Highlands.”
Looking ahead to 2013/14 and 2014/15, he envisaged the Council having to find substantial savings in each of these two financial years to cover pay inflation, price inflation and budget pressures.
He added: “A new Council will be elected early in May and it will be for them to agree these future savings. There is still a lot of work to do but I am confident that we leave a legacy of sound budget management.”