NYCC to make £22 million cuts

NORTH YORKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL (NYCC) is facing having to find savings of £22 million - in addition to the £69m already announced.

It comes as a result of increased pressure on funding by central Government and a request to freeze council tax for a further year, in exchange for a grant equivalent to a tax rise of 1%.

Combined with additional funding cuts from central government, it means if NYCC accepts the grant, it will have a funding gap of £21.8m to bridge over the next two years – on top of the cutbacks already agreed as part of its original savings package.

Plans have been drawn up to save £8 million in the year beginning in April, the following year that figure will rise to £16.4 million

Council leader, Coun John Weighell said: “Our original task of finding £69m in savings posed very considerable challenges.

“If we now have to find almost a third as much again, then clearly the challenge will be even greater. This is compounded by the timing of the Government’s announcement, as we expect this will only be confirmed in January, just a few months before we need to be making the savings.”

So far NYCC has had to make savings from frontline services such as public transport, libraries the schools music service, and outdoor education.

Half of the original £69m savings have come from “back-office”. The number of council departments has been cut, £2m has been saved from staff terms and conditions, and the number of posts has been reduced by almost 1,000, or 8% of the workforce, over the past two years. A pay freeze has been imposed for three years on all staff – and four years for most senior managers.