Borough of Poole Cabinet members have agreed to recommend no increase in Council Tax bills for Poole residents in 2015/16.
It would mean the annual charge for council services on a Band D property in Poole would remain unchanged at £1,209.60 – the fifth consecutive year that Borough of Poole has not raised Council Tax.
The council’s budget for 2015/16, including the recommended freeze on Council Tax bills, will be discussed and voted upon at a meeting of Full Council on Tuesday 24 February.
The budget proposals provides an additional £3 million investment in services for vulnerable children and adults, despite a further reduction of £6 million in funding from the Government for local services.
It also will enable £33 million investment in capital projects that will boost the local economy, including investment in road infrastructure, pothole repairs, flood defences and the delivery of a new footbridge over the port of Poole railway line in Hamworthy.
The budget contains a further £12 million of savings and efficiencies for the next 12 months. To protect the majority of frontline services for local residents, the budget also includes proposals for:
- changes to fairer contributions for social care services
- changes to the Local Council Tax Support scheme
- further partnership working with other public sector organisations
- further reductions in funding for the arts.
Cllr Elaine Atkinson, Leader of the Council, said: “I am pleased to say that we are in a position to deliver a balanced budget and recommend no increase in Council Tax for the fifth year running. Councillors from all the political groups have worked really hard with the council’s officers to reach this position in the face of the enormous financial challenge we face in Poole.
“If it is approved by Full Council on 24 February, this budget will see Poole residents continuing to receive the lowest Council Tax bills in Dorset, while providing additional funding for services for the most vulnerable members of our community and further stimulus to the local economy.”