Decision to freeze NDC’s portion of council tax and charges deferred over grant uncertainty.

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NORTH Devon Council’s Executive has deferred a decision to freeze council tax and several charges and fees for 2014-15 due to uncertainty over government grants.

The council’s Executive Committee met today (Tuesday) to recommend a new budget, set to be put before full council on February 26.

If approved, the budget would see many charges, including car parking, frozen at their 2013-14 level.

There would also be no increase in NDC’s share of the council tax, making them eligible for a Government Freeze Grant of £58,000.

Before the meeting, Council leader Cllr Brian Greenslade told the Gazette that he would welcome the freezes in the face of such deep cuts, and said they had been an ‘aspiration’ of the council since election.

However, Cllr Greenslade also conceded that: “The other difficult issue is that the government would normally have produced their grant figure by now, but we won’t find out until February 12 so we may have to come back and make adjustments.”

Last year’s budget of £12.142million included £846,000 of savings, of which the council are forecasting to save £726,000.

The 2014-15 budget will be cut by a further four per cent to £11.688million.

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