‘Public backing for council tax freeze’ - Notts County Council

RESIDENTS have overwhelmingly backed Nottinghamshire County Council’s plans for a fourth successive council tax freeze and say, from the services provided by the county council, they would most like to see highways improved.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th February 2013, 7:52 am

Over 65 per cent of people who took part in the county council’s budget conversation said they agreed with proposals to freeze council tax, with 21 per cent disagreeing.

When asked which single change or improvement to county council services would make a real difference to them or their family, most people said improvements to highways (20 per cent) and libraries (also 20 per cent).

Respondents were given the chance to say which areas they thought presented an opportunity to make savings. Half the respondents (50 per cent) said they thought the service where there was the greatest opportunity to make savings with the least impact was street lighting.

A total of 1,431 people gave their views on the County Council’s proposed budget for 2013/14 through the budget conversation, between 5th November 2012 and 25th January this year.

Respondents gave their views by filling out questionnaires on-line or in County News, completing comment cards at libraries or using the on-line budget simulator.

Their feedback will be considered by the county council’s policy committee which will decide on final budget proposals at their meeting on 13th February to be put before the full council on 28th February for final approval.

Coun Reg Adair, chairman of finance and property at Nottinghamshire County Council said, “We are extremely grateful to every resident and organisation who have taken part in our 2013/14 Budget Conversation.

“Despite reducing income and ever increasing demand for services like adult and children’s social care, our initial proposals rose to the challenge of finding extra money for the high demand service areas and to freeze council tax again, without the need to reduce any services or increase charges.

“I am pleased that the public support our proposals to freeze council tax. Now our challenge is to pick up the other areas they have identified in the budget conversation and see if we can find any further ways of diverting funds to the services they have said they would like us to prioritise.”

As well as the council tax freeze, initial budget proposals included an additional £25m to meet increased demand for services, including an extra £16m for adult social care and £3m for children’s social care. No further budget savings were being proposed in addition to those agreed in previous years.