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Stockton Council's Cabinet recommends budget

Friday, February 20, 2015


Stockton Council's Cabinet last night recommended a budget for 2015/16 as part of its draft Medium Term Financial Plan for the next four years.
 
And as part of plans to balance the budget, a 1.9% increase in Council Tax for 2015/16 has also been recommended.
 
The budget proposals have again been prepared against a backdrop of significant cuts in Government funding.
 
In 2010/11, Stockton Council received £120million in Government funding but this will reduce to £68million in 2015/16.
 
Meanwhile demands for front line services such as adults' and children's social care are continuing to increase.
 
The Council has already delivered savings of £34million over the last five years and 740 fewer employees work for the local authority.
 
However, independent expert advice suggests the Council could face further reductions of £15million by 2018/19.
 
Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "Our rigorous approach to financial planning and our strong history of careful financial management and giving good value for money was once again recognised by the Audit Commission this year.
 
"Of course we want to continue providing good services and facilities for residents, while protecting the vulnerable, but we will always need to be certain about what we can afford. The plans set out a realistic and robust approach not just for the coming year but also for the longer term.
 
"It's never easy to propose an increase Council Tax - even by the small amount of 32p per week for the majority of residents - but I believe it is in the best interests of the borough that we do. And the proposed increase in Council Tax is just part of what we need to do.
 
"We will also be developing further plans to achieve the additional savings that we need to make by 2018/19.  It would be easier to take short term popular decisions but we always need to have the long term health of the Borough in mind so we need to make tough decisions."
 
Full Council will meet on Wednesday (25 February) to consider Cabinet's recommendation as part of the draft Medium Term Financial Plan.

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