Despite years of Conservative Government cuts to the Council’s budget, the Council has released its budget plans for 2019/20; securing further investment in York’s frontline services, providing a financial boost to our libraries and supporting vulnerable residents across the city.
Over recent years, the Council has seen its funding from the Conservative Government significantly decline. The Council’s revenue support grant, which had previously totalled over £58 million in 2007, has now been reduced to £0. 2018 and 2019 has also seen tremendous financial pressure placed on York’s Adult Social Care system, placing further strain on the Council’s finances.
York’s Liberal Democrat Councillors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the 2019/20 budget continues our investment in the city’s vital frontline services, whilst simultaneously providing a cash injection into the services which support some of the most vulnerable in our city.
Frontline services have remained a key priority for Liberal Democrat Councillors and this will be maintained in 2019/20 budget through additional investment in our roads, car parks, the waste service and street cleaning. Unlike previous Labour administrations, we will not neglect these vital frontline services.
A moderate 3.25% increase in Council Tax has been put forward for this year, including the adult social care precept. Council Tax is an unfair method of taxation, one which impacts on those least able to pay. With this moderate increase in our Council Tax, further investment in frontline services is provided; the future of our Libraries is secured; and our adult social care services are financially supported.
This year, our key proposals include:
- On-going investment of £300,000 in the city’s Libraries, with a further £4,300,000 investment specifically for Acomb, Clifton and Haxby Libraries.
- A further £11,000,000 investment in the city’s roads.
- An Additional £330,000 for Council Car Park Improvements, with Evening & Daytime Parking Charges Frozen.
- An investment of £1,640,000 in York’s first Clean Air Zone.
- A £3,900,000 cash injection for York’s adult social care services.
- A £5,970,000 investment to repair and upgrade school buildings across the city.
- An on-going investment of £50,000 to permanently secure the Mental Health Champions Programme and support Young People’s mental health.
- A further investment of £150,000 in children’s social workers.
- An additional investment of £185,000 to increase resilience in the Council’s waste service.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said:
“There is no doubt that the Council faces financial challenges and these pressures, particularly in adult social care, only continue to grow. Nonetheless, as Liberal Democrats, we have worked hard to make sure that resident’s priorities are reflected in this year’s Council budget, whilst bearing in mind that increases of council tax impact on those least able to pay.”
“Today’s budget continues our commitment to protecting the future of the city’s libraries; providing an on-going investment of £300,000 for the library service and delivering £4.3 million worth of investment in library buildings.”
“Crucially, this budget also provides the much needed financial boost to services which help support and protect vulnerable residents. This includes a further £3.9 million invested in York’s adult social care services, and £150,000 for children’s social workers.”
Cllr Andrew Waller, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of the Council, added:
“Frontline services remain, and will continue to be, a main priority for the Liberal Democrats and this has been reflected in this year’s Council budget proposals.”
“Within this budget, we will see a further £11 million invested in our highways, allowing for greater number of road repairs to be made; £185,000 for the city’s waste service, helping it become more resilient moving forward; and additional funding for street cleaning.”
“Furthermore, this budget will support a number of key environmental projects, which are crucial to the future of the city. For example, £1.64 million will be used to deliver York’s first Clean Air Zone and tackle the issue of poor air quality, and £1.25 million will be invested to deliver renewable energy schemes across the city.”
The proposed Council Budget will be taken for approval at a meeting of the Council’s Executive on the 14th February. If agreed, the Council Budget will be recommended to Full Council for approval.
For more information on the Council Budget, please visit: https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=11007.