The government has announced that how individual Councillors vote on crucial budget decisions – like Council Tax levels – will, in future, be published.
In York, such decisions are often the subject of a “recorded vote” anyway although it can be weeks before vigilant taxpayers can find the records in meeting minutes.
Meanwhile the government has again offered to underwrite the income required to freeze Council Tax levels. £779,000 has been offered to the City. The funding would continue in future years.
The Council has made poor decisions over the last 3 years when turning down this funding.
The inexperienced Labour leadership – wrongly – assumed that the subsidy would be available for 1 year only. In reality the government has built the payment into the basic grant that the City receives.
This means that York Council taxpayers are – on average – now paying over £50 a year more for local services than they would have been if the Council had accepted the central government offer.
Next year a band D council taxpayer will have to find £1,165.54 to pay for York Council services, to which will be added the costs of Fire (4% increase planned) and Police (2% increased proposed)
The York Council is planning to give £1 million to the Leeds Council “infrastructure fund”.
In addition, around £300,000 in additional (new) Business Rates are being “pooled” with West Yorkshire Councils.
These are optional payments with no guarantee that any of the money will be invested in York.