North Yorkshire Council plans 4.99% council tax increase
Jan 18, 2024
Council leader Carl Les

North Yorkshire Council looks set to increase its portion of council tax bills by 4.99 per cent in 2024/25 — the maximum permitted before triggering a referendum.

The hike would mean the price paid by an average Band D property for council services would increase by £87.80 to £1,847.62.

The total council tax bill is made up of precepts charged by North Yorkshire Council, the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and parish councils. Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe has yet to finalise an amount but has proposed increases of up to 9.3%.

The council has also said it needs to make £46 million in savings across the next three financial years.

Of that figure, it expects more than £36 million to come from the impact of local government reorganisation, which saw seven district and borough councils, including Harrogate, abolished last year along with North Yorkshire County Council and the creation of North Yorkshire Council.

It plans to use £6.5 million of reserves to balance its books in the next financial year.

The details are contained in a report by chief executive Richard Flinton and corporate director for strategic resources Gary Fielding to the council’s Conservative-controlled executive next week.

The report says:

“North Yorkshire Council is facing the same spending and funding pressures as most other councils but it is not in financial distress so long as it delivers the savings opportunities arising from unitarization.”

It lists the rising number and costs of SEND provision; extreme volatility and distress in the adult social care market, children’s placement costs, home to school transport services, high levels of inflation and supply chain expectations and workforce retention and recruitment challenges as key financial pressures.

Among proposed savings are changes to home to school transport, meaning families would be given funding for pupils to attend their nearest school rather than in the wider catchment area, and fees and charges are also set to increase to reflect inflation.

Other changes include cutting commissioning costs by reducing, for example, the number of high value care packages, and by bringing together highways services.

Council leader Carl Les said:

“We have always been aware of the benefits of bringing services under the control of one council, and a great deal of work has been undertaken to ensure that these can come to fruition.

“The council is still not a year old, but we can see just what it means to have a single authority to cover the whole of North Yorkshire.

“As a council, we know the financial pressures which taxpayers are facing, and we are committed to ensuring that every pound of residents’ and businesses’ money is used as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Cllr Gareth Dadd, the council’s deputy leader and executive member responsible for finance, added:

“I would suggest that the proposed savings are among the least controversial of anywhere in the country, and this has been brought about thanks largely to the opportunities of local government reorganisation and also prudent management of our finances over many years.”

Members of North Yorkshire Council’s executive are due to meet on Tuesday, January 23 to discuss the proposed budget.

If approved, it will be considered at a full council meeting next month, before it is adopted by the council.

Read more: