City council votes on spending plans and tax freeze

February 21, 2012 10:30 AM

Catherine SmartCambridge City Councillors will vote this week on their spending plans for the coming year and a move to freeze council tax for residents.

The ruling Liberal Democrat group has put together a budget which safeguards the city's basic services and protects services for the vulnerable while at the same time pushing ahead with its vision for the city's future.

But it has been a careful balancing act against a backdrop of a 23 per cent reduction in the council's government grant over the next two years.

Despite funding restraints, the Lib Dems have identified £1.2 million worth of savings for 2012/13 rising to £1.4 million in later years.

And the council is planning to give grants to help people insulate their homes and to increase plastic recycling.

There are also plans to fund a restorative justice scheme for low-level offending where victims and offenders agree. This scheme will be similar to those in other parts of the country which have been successful in cutting re-offending.

The Lib Dems will ask their Cambridge City Council colleagues to vote for their budget on Thursday (February 23).

Catherine Smart, Cambridge City Council Deputy Leader said: "This budget has not been easy but it has been made easier by the hard work and the robust programme of savings put in place last year.

"This means we have been able to protect those of our services used by vulnerable people, invest in our basic services so the city is kept safe and clean, and to make sure that we get right those things where we only have one chance to get it right.

"And fortunately because we have been prudent, we can take the council tax freeze the government is offering which will bring some relief to people whose finances are stretched."

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