Northamptonshire County Council’s final budget proposals were considered by cabinet today (Tuesday 14th February).
The four-year budget framework details how the council proposes to save £100m between now and 2016 to help face the challenges of reduced government funding and an increasing number of people to provide services for.
Underpinning the budget proposals is the Local Deal for the county. This is the council’s promise to keep council tax the lowest in the country this year, to make further savings in its back office, to provide the right conditions for growth and prosperity and to provide services where people can’t help themselves.
At the same time the council is asking the people of Northamptonshire to come forward and volunteer to help deliver some of the council’s key services to save taxpayers money and to take advantage of opportunities the council provides to help people help themselves.
Leader of the council Councillor Jim Harker said: “Today we have put forward a budget that will tackle the considerable financial challenges we are facing.
“While this includes proposing some difficult measures to help ensure our limited resources are targeted in the right places, at the heart of these plans is the Local Deal.
“The Local Deal is our promise to freeze council tax, to make further back-office savings and to find new ways to work in partnership to help save money even further as well as continuing to support the county’s growth and prosperity.
“And in return, we have asked people to get more involved in the services we know they value so much. We already have many volunteers supporting our services and we will be continuing to encourage people to come forward as we need to work together to get through this.”
The proposals have been subject to an eight-week consultation which included dedicated web pages and online survey as well as specific events to engage with different groups of people such as people with learning disabilities and their families and carers, older people and young people. 12,121 people visited the website and more than 400 people took part in the consultation.
Councillor Robin Brown, cabinet member for health and adult social services said: “One of the changes we have been able to make in today’s final budget plans is a reduction in the amount we propose to save through changing the carers assessment process, from £210,000 to £130,000. We received a great deal of feedback about this proposal during the consultation and have worked with the Carers Association to listen to their views to help us make this saving in a fair and equitable way.”
The budget proposals were agreed at a cabinet meeting today and will now go to the full council meeting on 23rd February.