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Royal Borough to cut tax again

Published: 28 Jan 2013 17:000 comments

COUNCIL tax for residents in Ascot could be set to be cut by 3%. This would be the fourth year in a row that the Royal Borough has reduced its part of the bill.

The 3% proposal would mean a reduction for residents in band D properties taxpayers from £975.03 annually this year to £945.78 in 2013/14, though the levies for police, fire and parish councils are on top of this to make the total bill that people will pay.

Royal Borough leader Cllr David Burbage said: \\\"We don't want to take money we don't need. Bills are high for people at the moment and we want to be able to cut the ones we as a council can control.\\\"

The council's budget outlines savings of up to £7.5m in 2013/14 made in areas such as alterations to adult and social care policy, changes to the council's management structure and staff contract changes.

In the proposed budget, more than £6m is dedicated for work to schools in the Royal Borough, £1m investment in adult and social care and £300,000 to ensure 24/7 fire cover in Windsor at the proposed Tinker's Lane site.

Cllr Burbage added the reductions were part of a long process of identifying savings which could be made through unnecessary administration costs rather than cutting services.

Cllr Dudley stated the council's reserve funds are at an \\\"historically high level\\\".

The budget also outlines a 1% pay rise for 620 of the lowest paid council staff, but Cllr Burbage also admitted there were likely to be more redundancies this year with perhaps as many as 40 jobs lost at the council

Other areas of investment include:-

-£550,000 for replacement street lighting

-£470,000 for parks improvement

-£300,000 for drainage and flood prevention schemes

Other areas of savings include:-

-£400,000 by encouraging elderly people to stay at home rather than living in nursing and care homes

-£370,000 through alterations to the Shared Lives and Homeshare programmes

-£116,00 from re-procurement of mobile phone contracts at the council and reducing handset use by council set

The budget will go to cabinet on Thursday, February 7, before being going to full council for approval on Tuesday, February 19.

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