Council tax frozen for third year in Craven

COUNCIL tax for residents in Craven has been frozen for a third successive year.

Craven Council approved a net revenue budget of £6.3 million for 2013/14 which is a reduction of £139,000 compared to last year.

North Yorkshire County Council also froze its own part of council tax.

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Craven Council leader Chris Knowles-Fitton said: “The easiest thing in the world to do is increase council tax.

“The administration has debated at length the pros and cons of a relatively small increase next year but even the smallest increase will hurt household budgets which are already under pressure.

“We have a social and moral obligation to make life no harder for our residents than we must and for this reason we have agreed freeze council tax for a third successive year.

“The cuts in Government funding over the last three years have reduced our funding resources by £1.35 million. There will be a further reduction of £400,000 in 2014/15 so the challenge for us now is to maintain front-line services despite these funding pressures.”

Council tax is divided between the Craven Council, North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire Police Authority, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority and parish councils.

For a house in Band D the bill in Craven will be £1,528.

In Bradford householders could be looking at a council tax rise of just under two per cent. Anything over that level would trigger a local referendum.

The council’s ruling Labour group has drawn up a package of cuts but council tax is still expected to rise by 1.99 per cent.

A final decision on the budget will be taken at a meeting of the council tomorrow.

Kirklees councillors voted for an increase of 1.7 per cent but, with police and fire authority payments on top, the actual increase is 2.5 per cent.