26 February 2018
The Government is removing all rate support funding from local councils meaning that this year all of York’s income will depend on Council Tax, a share of Business Rates and fees and charges. Since York has the 7th lowest Band D council tax of all unitary authorities, (significantly lower than, for example the neighbouring East Riding of Yorkshire – and the second lowest spend per head of all unitary authorities (ref appendix 9 page 359) the Greens believe that the authority needs to gradually move Council Tax levels closer to the average for comparable authorities, whilst protecting our least well off and most vulnerable residents.
To achieve this the Greens would invest an extra £100,000 in the Financial Assistance Fund along with creating an outreach worker post to pro-actively promote this support to residents in financial need and combat low take up. For similar reasons, the Greens would give extra funding to maintain the excellent debt advice work of Citizens Advice York, would allocate £200k to reduce the cap on Council Tax support for our worst off citizens by 5%, thus enabling more people to reduce their council tax through Council Tax Support.
The Greens say that in order to respond to the budget pressures from increasing demand for adult social care (highlighted by officers in the budget papers) it would be prudent to take the full 3% increase allowed by the government this year, thus putting more money overall into the service rather than having 1.5% increase this year and another 1.5% next year. They would use this to reverse the £100k cut to small day services, increase the falls prevention service (helping people stay in their own homes) by £200k, and allocate an additional £450k towards funding for the full range of adult social care.
“ The pressures on providing for our most vulnerable elderly people are immense, and investment now will help to reduce long term costs as well as allow more people to continue independent living in dignity within their own communities” said Cllr D’Agorne.
“Maintaining attractive, safe, clean streets and parks is also a key priority for our communities and our future" he added.
The full details of the proposals can be read on our blog pages.