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Kent County Council proposes third year of council tax freeze
KENT County Council’s portion of council tax could been frozen for the third year in a row, but between £60m and £80 needs to be saved to pay for it.
An eight week consultation period has started to help the council shape its plans before the final budget is approved in February.
Without wielding the axe, the council said it would need increase council tax by £108 a year for the average household, and 42 per cent over four years.
Among the attempts to claw back cash are a cut in staff costs of £2.1m – 0.6 per cent – children’s centres by £1.4m – 7.8 per cent – and street lighting by £400,000 – 7.11 per cent.
KCC admitted “tough decisions have to be taken” but said it was working towards a “genuine transformation” of services.
Council leader, councillor Paul Carter said: "“It is pointless to pretend that the money will keep rolling in from taxpayers to see the same old services in the same old way. It won’t.
"In almost every area of life people are working differently or using new technology to make things easier. Councils must do that too and I’m proud that Kent is leading the way. Every penny we can save is a penny that remains in the pockets of the people of Kent.”
He added: "Of course some tough decisions have to be taken. All councils are facing unprecedented cuts to their funding as the Government tackles the national deficit, and that situation isn’t going to change in coming years.
"If we did nothing to tackle our spending, in four years time KCC would require a 42 per cent rise in council tax to keep services running.”
Go to Kent.gov.uk/budgetviews to view the proposals and fill in an online feedback form. You can also e-mail responses to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1.