No Harrogate council tax rise for fifth year running

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Senior councillors in Harrogate have backed a freeze in council tax for the fifth year in a row.

The move comes at a time when other local authorities, including North Yorkshire County Council, are contemplating a rise in bills are they seek to balance their books in the light of budget cuts.

Harrogate Borough Council said council tax payers are now set to see no rise in the borough council tax element of their council tax.

Members of council’s cabinet agreed to recommend a zero rise for the fifth year running.

A final decision on the zero rise will be made at the full council meeting to be held on February 13.

Coun Jim Clark, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said the decision was good news for council tax payers.

He added: “There’s no need for a 1.95 per cent rise which is what we had been predicting.

“We can still get a balanced budget which means we will have enough money next year to deliver our services and there will be no need for any service cuts.

“It has been a challenge to prepare our draft budget, but we’ve got a strong financial basis.

“We have again achieved this by prudent financial management and creating a number of efficiencies.”

However householders in the district could still be dealt a blow as North Yorkshire County Council has already predicted its bills will rise by two per cent

North Yorkshire County Council leader, Coun John Weighell earlier said: “Naturally we would prefer not to present the taxpayers of North Yorkshire with an increase in their bills.

“We are on track to save £94m over the four years ending in March 2015, and we estimate we already have to find a further £77m over the next four years.

“This represents a cut in our spending power of more than a third in eight years.”