Northamptonshire County Council’s budget for 2013/14 was agreed at a meeting of full council today (21st February), ensuring a council tax freeze for another year.
The council’s budget is the second year of a four-year framework which set out the cabinet’s response to continued reductions in government funding and growing demand for services for older people and children in care.
The setting of the budget means that the council will spend a total of £1.116 billion in the next financial year. The budget incorporates £33.6 million of savings in the coming financial year as part of the overall saving requirement of £77.5 million over the next three years.
The freezing of council tax means that a Band D rate for 2013/14 will remain at £1,028.11.
Leader of the council Councillor Jim Harker said: “When we launched our four-year framework last year, we promised to freeze council tax, to make further back-office savings and find new ways to work in partnership to help save money even further. We made a commitment to continuing to support the county’s growth and prosperity and to providing services where people can’t help themselves.
“As we enter the second year of that framework, I’m pleased to be able to say that we’ve continued to press ahead in all those areas to ensure our limited resources are targeted in the right places.”
Councillor Bill Parker, cabinet member for finance, said: “Over 1,700 people or organisations took part in the budget consultation and the overwhelming majority agreed with our proposal to freeze council tax.
“They also told us that they supported our new and innovative ways of working. This include our new commissioning arrangements for highways services, the creation of Olympus Care Services delivering adult social care services, and the ongoing success of LGSS, the shared services venture founded by ourselves and Cambridgeshire County Council, which reduces the costs of services through the consolidation of resources and process redesign.
“We will continue to remodel our services to find pioneering ways of achieving savings while protecting the most vulnerable people in the county.”