19 February 2015

Final budget proposals aimed at protecting frontline services from cuts, helping them become more self-financing and saving another £68m worth of taxpayers’ money have been agreed by Northamptonshire County Council councillors today.

Increased demand

The budget report discussed by councillors at today’s full council meeting showed that over the next five years the costs of providing services due to a continued surge in demand and other pressures will rise by £104m while the money given to us by government will reduce by £79m. This means the cost of running services will be double the amount of money available to us.

To plug this growing gap today’s budget agreement commits the council to working more closely with partners while other services will start to work on the Next Generation Council as described in the Council Plan by becoming full self-financing.

Low tax

Meanwhile the position of the county as the lowest taxing county council in the country will be maintained with a council tax rise of just 1.95 per cent.

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bill Parker said: “What this budget does is make sure that while longer term plans for total transformation of services are developed, we continue in our work to protect those frontline and critical services despite the significant amount of budget reductions we are having to implement.

“Once again those services most treasured by our communities and those which help wellbeing such as libraries and country parks are protected. Once again we are investing in core safeguarding services to make sure we do all we can to protect society’s most vulnerable.

“However when you are taking this sort of money out of services you have to make tough decisions which we know will not be popular. We are having to look at the fees and charges we apply to people who use our services, partner organisations and others who operate in the county such as utility companies.”