MANSFIELD District Council’s budget for 2013/14 was set at a full council meeting last week. Here’s a closer look at how the budget could affect you.
*Council Tax was frozen for the third consecutive year at the following rates: Band A - £123.15, Band B - £143.67, Band C - £164.20, Band D - £184.72, Band E - £225.77, Band F - £266.82, Band G - £307.87, Band H - £369.44.
*Councillors opted to take a Council Tax Freeze grant of £59,000 from the Government.
*Car parking charges remain largely unchanged but the hourly fee at Clumber Street has risen from 90p to £1.
*Market stall fees are unchanged.
*The hiring of rooms and equipment at Mansfield Civic Centre and Mansfield Palace Theatre have risen slightly to cover general inflation and market conditions.
*A £48 charge for the burial of a still born child was scrapped.
*As part of the budget, councillors agreed to allocate money for a number of schemes including:
*£509,000 allocated to help stimulate the local economy by working with local businesses to create more job opportunities.
*The building of up to 37 affordable rented homes.
*Refurbishment of three play areas - Oak Tree Lane, Rainworth and Manor Park.
*Development of new services to provide short and long-term support to elderly and vulnerable people.
*Commitment to ensure properties owned by the Council are well maintained.
*It was agreed to approved the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which will replace Council Tax Benefit from 1st April 2013. The scheme aims to spread the burden of Government cuts as fairly as possible and includes incentives for people to get into work with changes including:
*A reduction to the maximum entitlement from 100 per cent to 91.5 per cent.
*A restriction of backdating payments to three months (currently six months).
*To abolish Second Adult Rebate (a scheme which enables someone on a high income to get a rebate on their bill because there is someone in the household on a low income who is not a partner)
*To allow six week extended payments as a work incentive (currently four weeks).
Coun Roger Sutcliffe, portfolio holder for resources, said: “It is becoming increasingly challenging to find the savings necessary to balance the budget while still maintaining the current level of service. The council is making use of some of its reserves and one-off sources of funding to limit the impact of budget reductions on services, residents and local businesses. “This is a stimulating budget in the most difficult times and is designed to drive prosperity and support the growth of Mansfield District.”