10:41 Friday 31 January 2014

Council savings leads to a council tax free and more

Written byROB SMYTH

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A FREEZE on council tax and parking charges were among several positive proposals put forward by authority chiefs.

North West Leicestershire District Council also revealed that green waste collections will remain free and existing concessions in fees and charges for disabled people and children under five will also be kept.

This comes after estimated savings needed to be made by the council were less than first thought - dropping from £1.5million to £700,000 – due to forward planning.

Council leader Richard Blunt said: “Reducing our savings target is good news for everyone in the district.

“It’s down to good forward planning on our part.

“We planned very conservatively in terms of potential income from the new homes bonus, council tax collection and government settlement – and all three have turned out much more positively than planned.

“I’m proud of our council officers for carefully planning for the future – working hard to reduce our budget without cutting services, and bringing in income wherever possible.

“We have said throughout this process that we would constantly monitor our savings targets to make sure they were always accurate.

“Although the reduced savings target is reduced for the next two years, we will remain proactive in monitoring our financial situation, and will continue our programme of service reviews, to make sure we’re providing the best for our residents.”

More than £400,000 will be saved in 2014-15 – with three-quarters coming from improving service management.

The authority is also creating a £1 million fund to build much-needed affordable homes, create new jobs and improve town centres and communities.

The council has been able to do this because it saved £471,000 in 2013-14, as well as earning £405,000 more than it originally forecast from planning and recycling services.

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