Council tax freeze in uncertain times

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public finances: Bucks County Council (BCC) has this week agreed budget proposals to freeze council tax for a second year.

The county’s Local Government Finance Settlement for 2012/13 will be £58.487 million, a reduction of £7.97 million on last year’s grant, or more than 10 per cent. It includes a one-off council tax grant of £5.8 million to be used specifically on a council tax freeze in the coming financial year.

The county council’s overall net operating revenue budget for 2012/13 will be £325 million, with capital investment of about £90 million.

The draft financial plans will now go forward for further public consultation and will be reviewed by the overview and scrutiny committee before budgets are finalised by full council in February.

County council leader Martin Tett said: “We’re having to make tough decisions. We’re in a period of global instability and Bucks isn’t immune from the challenges we see and hear about all around us. It’s a very difficult juggling act, but I feel we have managed to present a balanced and fair budget in the face of increasing demands on our services and at a time of immense uncertainty.”