York & North Yorkshire

York Council to raise tax and cut 240 posts

York Council is to raise council tax and cut 240 posts in an attempt to save more than £23m over the next two years.

The Labour-led authority voted in favour of the 1.9% rise despite Conservative and Liberal Democrat amendments to freeze council tax and apply for a government subsidy.

Labour leader James Alexander claimed taking the grant would leave the authority worse off.

Conservative leader Chris Steward said he was "very disappointed" at the rise.

The approved budget will see cuts in funding to children's centres and reduced subsidies for York Museums Trust and the York Theatre Royal.

The council said more money would be put into road repairs and adult social services.

Mr Alexander claimed the budget was in response to a "combination of increasing costs and further cuts to our funding."

'Less money'

He said: "If we were to take the council tax freeze grant being offered again by government, we would need to find another £560,000 of savings in 2014/15 alone.

"We are intent on protecting front-line services for our residents, having to find these further savings will make doing this all the more difficult."

The council's two Green Party members tabled a motion for a 2.9% rise in council tax, which would have triggered a referendum on the increase.

Mr Steward claimed the Labour party "would not dare" put the council tax rise to a public vote.

"By taking the government grant, the council would physically have less money," he said.

"However, York's residents would have their council tax frozen."

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