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Cheshire East announce council tax freeze
10:35am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
‘SOUND financial management and bold thinking.’
That’s the call from Cheshire East Council leader, clr Michael Jones, after councillors passed a financial three-year plan this week, which it states will secure vital services, protect the vulnerable and deliver value for money for the people living in the borough.
In the report, voted through by full council on Thursday, February 28, Clr Jones said council tax would be frozen for the third year running – and also the following year (2014/15).
Clr Jones announced the authority would deliver ‘robust, balanced budgets’ for the next three years and commended the budget to members as being one which ‘believes in aspiration’ – and ‘aspires for the best for the people of Cheshire East’.
Clr Jones said: “This budget, as part of my promise as leader, is open and transparent. Far more than that, it tackles a national problem, head on.
“This budget is more than numbers. It is about how a modern council delivers services to the people – not relying on spend and bust or resorting to reckless policies of increasing council tax and slashing public services.
“This budget says there is a ‘different’ way. We can work together as a council, officers and members together, to deliver a vision of the highest quality public services ever.”
But Labour said it believed the budget was ‘risky’.
Clr Sam Corcoran told the Guardian: “If you look at most budgets at this moment in time there’s government cuts. Some areas of the budget have had more cuts than others.
“The thinking is that money will be invested in some of those areas that have been reduced more heavily in the hope it increases. If it does it will then be put back into the areas that it has originally been taken from.”
A shake-up of council management will save £5m a year by 2015, by reducing the number of management posts by a quarter. This is together with 1,000 jobs that are set to go over the next three years through people retiring and ‘natural turnover’.
As part of its commitment to growing the economic prosperity of Cheshire East, the council said it plans a capital programme in excess of £220m over three years and aims to secure the creation of 27,000 new homes.