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Taxpayers in Flintshire facing hike as part of budget plans

Published date: 04 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A THREE per cent increase in council tax will form the basis of Flintshire Council’s upcoming budget.

The authority’s head of finance, Kerry Feather, informed members the council’s impending 2014/15 financial plan will be based upon an increase in charges for authority services.

An increase to council tax had been rumoured since Flintshire Council announced it would be looking to make around £50 million in savings in October last year.

Yesterday’s meeting of the corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee at County Hall also heard how the council still has a budget gap of over £500,000 that it needs to plug before it is officially ratified.

Among the issues still under consideration by the unitary body in its attempts to achieve a balanced budget is the potential for further efficiencies through procurement.

The council is also assessing the costs of employment throughout its workforce, reviewing any budget assumptions and intelligence as well as an assessment of any financial risks to the council.

Addressing members, Ms Feather said: “This financial strategy is something we have to get used to.

“The money available to councils will reduce and we’ll be delivering services with a lot less.

“An approach like this is needed with planning over time.”

Councillors were also informed of the authority’s capital programme for the next 12 months.

More than £7 million has been made available for the council to continue protecting its key services such as school maintenance, private sector housing renewal and highway maintenance.

Just under £150,000 will be spent on urgent capital needs restricted to health and safety and contractual needs. The remaining funds will be allocated after an in-depth review by heads of services, something which council leader, Aaron Shotton, felt was important.

He said: “A core programme built on sand is not good for services.”

The budget for 2014/15 and confirmation of a three per cent increase in council tax will be determined at a meeting of the full council on February 18.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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