Coun­cil tax freeze for a sec­ond year

Oldham Advertiser - - NEWS -

RES­I­DENTS are in line to re­ceive a coun­cil tax freeze for the sec­ond year run­ning.

The freeze is part of bud­get pro­pos­als which have been ap­proved by Old­ham coun­cil’s cabi­net and are ex­pected to be rat­i­fied at next Wed­nes­day’s full coun­cil meet­ing.

The plans also seek to cut £35m from the lo­cal author­ity’s purse next year and find a fur­ther £29.4m for 2016/17.

Coun Ab­dul Jab­bar, cabi­net mem­ber for fi­nance and hu­man re­sources, said: “Bal­anc­ing the bud­get is get­ting harder and harder due to the sig­nif­i­cant size of the cuts we face – but we be­lieve help­ing res­i­dents by freez­ing coun­cil tax is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial at this time.

“We’ve had to adapt and be in­no­va­tive in the way we de­liver coun­cil ser­vices be­cause we’ve had to save £141m from our bud­get in the past five years. We’ve faced com­par­a­tively much more size­able fund­ing re­duc­tions than many other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties – some of which have only seen a five per cent fund­ing cut dur­ing that time.”

Coun Jab­bar says the coun­cil is tak­ing a ‘twopronged ap­proach’ to help bridge the fund­ing gap – firstly by work­ing with res­i­dents to make peo­ple ‘more re­silient and sel­f­re­liant’ and also in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion, hous­ing, busi­ness and re­gen­er­a­tion, to boost the econ­omy and bring more money into the bor­ough.

Coun Jab­bar added: “I would like to thank the res­i­dents who have given us their opin­ions on how we can save money – but I would urge more to give us their thoughts by tak­ing part in our bud­get con­ver­sa­tion.”

A video an­i­ma­tion which out­lines how res­i­dents can help the coun­cil save money can be found at old­ham.gov.uk.let­stalk­bud­get.

The public can also watch their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives de­bate the best way for­ward next Wed­nes­day when full coun­cil pro­ceed­ings are streamed live on the coun­cil’s web­site from 6pm.

Res­i­dents can also fol­low the ac­tion and have their say via Twit­ter. Search for all re­lated tweets us­ing the hash­tag #let­stalk­bud­get.

●● Coun Ab­dul Jab­bar

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