This week Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) announced its budget plans for 2013/4.
Keeping money in people’s pockets during these tough economic times is an essential part of ensuring the continued prosperity of Buckinghamshire. It is also welcome to see that the Conservative 2010 General Election pledge to freeze council tax for two years has been achieved and extended by the Council.
I reproduce an extract below from the BCC press release:
Despite £14.4m less funding from central government, freezing Council Tax again forms the centrepiece of the County Council’s budget plans for 2013/14 and firmly reflects the 82 per cent of residents who said they wanted it to stay the same. On average, the combined effect of the three year freeze will see around £100 back in the pockets of hard-pressed local council tax payers.
In proposing its balanced budget of £325.2m, the Council has also been able to cope with inflationary rises and the increase in costs of safeguarding the most vulnerable. Grants to the voluntary and community sectors also remain protected to recognise the valuable work they do across Buckinghamshire. It’s also good news for motorists as a further £25m is destined for road improvements over the next two years on top of the £30m already invested.
Martin Tett, Leader of the Council said tough decisions had to be taken to deliver a common sense budget:
“Achieving a balanced budget was incredibly challenging but I believe it’s the best solution we could have reached given the situation we are in. I’m also proud that we’ve delivered a £100 saving in council tax in these difficult times and I hope this will go at least some way to help residents cope with other rising household bills.”