Council Tax Frozen for 2 Years for West Cheshire Residents

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Conservative run Cheshire West and Chester Council last night ratified a two-year council tax freeze.

A recommendation not to raise council tax in 2014-15 and to suggest the same for the following year was backed by 69 votes – with one abstention – at the Budget Council meeting.

The decision means CWAC’s standard Band D council tax rate for 2014-15 will remain unchanged at £1,275.23.

It followed a three-hour debate where Administration Councillors lined up to praise a budget based on four years of sound financial management to provide growth, prosperity and employment.

Councillor Les Ford, Executive Member for Resources, said: “This budget continues the same themes as previous years of continuing to reduce waste, inefficient practices and bureaucracy, yet seeks to innovate and develop new ways of delivering and improving services to our residents, at a much reduced cost. “

An Opposition ammendment to the budget was circulated only 10 minutes before the meeting began and was defeated.

During the debate Councillor Ford confirmed that no decisions had been taken to close children’s centres and that discussions on school transport were still continuing.

But said Council Leader Mike Jones: “The Opposition are tinkering around the edges of this budget, which means they support the rest of it. Their amendment is a list of populist items dreamed up in secret with no consultation with the public.

“We have reduced our management costs by 33 percent which is higher than most authorities. This represents a cost reduction from £9.8m to £6.6m.

“We have put a three-year plan together to create certainty for the most vulnerable people in our community, certainty for our residents and equally importantly, certainty for our inward investors who are creating the jobs in our towns and city.”

The budget was supported by 37 votes to 31, with two abstentions.

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