County council relief for ratepayers

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NORTh YORKSHIRE County Council (NYCC) is set to freeze council tax for the forthcoming financial year but admitted front line services would be at risk.

The authority has to find £69 million worth of savings over four years due to central government cuts but says it also acknowledges many households are struggling to make ends meet in the current economic climate.

The county council has so far identified £54 million of savings and will draw on reserves to fill the shortfall in 2011/2012.

While there are plans to replenish the reserves the chief executive of NYCC, Richard Flinton added that the authority will continue to make savings in management, administration and better contracts.

He added: “Although it will not be possible to protect all front-line services, we hope this short-term use of the county council’s reserves will mean we can make the necessary savings over a longer period and so maintain the county’s high quality services to the fullest extent possible.”

Leader of NYCC, Coun John Weighell said: “We understand how difficult things are for households and families at the present time and so we are proposing not to raise council tax.

“This leaves the authority with reduced scope for making savings through efficiency. Nevertheless we are doing everything possible to make tough spending decisions while protecting frontline services and the most vulnerable people in our society.”