County freezes council tax

A council tax freeze for the second successive year has been confirmed by Derbyshire County Council.

Council Leader Andrew Lewer said he was determined not to add to the burden on council tax payers.

“We know how hard it is for many families to make ends meet. Council tax is one of the biggest bills they get each year and we do not want to make them even bigger.

He added: “Like councils across the country - we are facing up to some really difficult choices.

“We are protecting front-line services and where possible we have cut around 30% more from back office services. It does mean cuts to some services but we are doing our best to cut red tape and to be as efficient as possible.”

The council agreed plans to cut spending by £25mi over the next 12 months – on top of £45 million cuts over the last two years. Around 600 jobs will go over 12 months – as part of a planned reduction of 2,000 jobs over four years.

And in a bid to stimulate the local economy the council agreed to start a £116m building programme to improve the county’s roads and schools, as well as provide extra care homes and dementia centres for elderly people.

Coun Lewer added: “These are difficult times and difficult decisions need to be made.

“We cannot continue to spend, spend, spend. That would mean asking our council tax payers to dig even deeper to pay for council services. And that is something that council tax payers do not want and something we are not prepared to do.”