Wakefield Council’s Budget for 2015/16 has been approved.
Wakefield Council's Budget for 2015/16 has been approved.
At a special Budget meeting of the full Council there were no votes against the proposal.
Savings of £38m will be made in 2015/16. This is on top of the £81m that has already been cut from the Council's budget since 2011. These savings are required as a direct result of Government cuts and equate to around 30% of the Council's budget.
Today's vote of approval means that Council Tax will increase by 1.99% - an increase of 29p a week for a Band A property – from April 1 2015.
Speaking at the meeting today, the Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Peter Box CBE said: "Increasing Council Tax by 1.99% at least gives us the capacity to protect some of our core services, those which people depend on the most.
"In 2011 and 2012 we took the Council tax freeze grant – a decision which ultimately cost us over £6m a year in lost income. If we take the government's latest freeze grant of 1% it will cost us £900k in lost income next year – and £5m by 2019.
"We can no longer absorb losses of that magnitude."
During his speech Cllr Box pledged to carry on delivering good services despite the unprecedented cuts facing the Council and he highlighted the ambition and optimism that would take the district forward.
Cllr Box said: "We'll make sure that our residents get the best local services we can provide with the money we've got. Our record shows that we've delivered some good services in tough times. That's going to continue."
"We can and should be optimistic and ambitious. Our ambition can help us shape the future for our district and our residents. Let's help make it a future to be proud of."
The meeting is available to watch online at http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/councillors-and-mayor/watch-council-meetings