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UPDATED: Council Tax Bills Rise

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3:53pm 26th November 2013

A plan to slash Cornwall's services and put up the average council tax bill by almost £25 pounds a year is rubber stamped.

It will mean less help for the Duchy's most vulnerable, the privatisation of traffic wardens and possible cuts to CCTV.

County Hall says it has got to save almost £200m pounds in the next five years because of cuts to the amount of support it gets from the government.

Officials have been conducting a public consultation at meetings across the Duchy to work out where they can make huge savings.

Now the full council has voted on a final budget, which includes £43 million pounds of savings and a 1.97% increase in council tax next year.

That figure is just short of the 2% threshold which would automatically trigger a referendum.

Senior councillors are concerned that would involve huge expense with no guarantee voters in Cornwall would be prepared to pay more to safeguard some services.

Unions warn some of the savings will lead to hundreds of job losses in the Duchy.

Other plans to save money include dimming street lights and cutting the opening times for libraries.

“I am content that this is the best budget we are able to produce at this time” said Council Leader John Pollard. “ It is formulated on the understanding that cuts are required but we are determined to provide the best possible services”.  

"I am very pleased that so many people in Cornwall have joined us in addressing the financial challenges we face” said Alex Folkes, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources. “We have been clear that Cornwall Council cannot look the same in five years time as it does today and we have the chance now to shape the future of the authority."

"There were useful suggestions made at every public meeting, by email and via our online surveys. We are grateful for the support we received for many of our original proposals and have taken on board suggestions to improve the budget.  To my mind, this is how local councils should operate. We should always be in touch with those we represent to make sure we are on the right track."

3:53pm 26th November 2013

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