Just days left to have your say on Scarborough borough's council tax share

There is just one week left for residents to have their say on Scarborough Council’s budget for the coming year, as the authority looks to make more than £3 million in savings.

As part of its draft revenue budget for 2020/21 the borough authority, which makes up around 13% of a resident’s council tax bill, is proposing to increase its share of the precept by £5 a year for a Band D property, a rise of around 2.1%.

Scarborough Town Hall

Scarborough Town Hall

It would bring the total paid to Scarborough Council by borough residents in a Band D property to £239.75.

Once the contributions to North Yorkshire County Council, which makes up 70% of a council tax bill, North Yorkshire Police and Fire Service and the social care precept have been set, a total bill for a Band D property will come to more than £1,900 for the year.

Global pop sensation Louis Tomlinson to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre

Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said: “The delivery of good quality public services is critical to ensuring a high quality of life for our residents, businesses and the many visitors that come to our borough each year.

“Investment in these services is key to achieving our ambitions for Building a Better Borough. The budget for next year reflects this and demonstrates our commitment to getting back to basics and making the improvements to essential services that people are asking for.”

That public consultation has now opened and people can have their say up until February 17 by visiting www.scarborough.gov.uk/consultations-have-your-say/budget-consultation-202021-revenue-budget and filling in the survey.

Since 2010 the council has delivered savings of £21m from its annual revenue budget in order to balance its books.

In its introduction to the public consultation, the council laid out its financial position for the years to come.

It stated: “The council’s three-year revenue budget projections anticipate that the council will need to identify savings of £6.7m over the period to 2023, although this figure is dependent on the outcome of the government’s review of local authority funding.

“[So far] £3.1m of this amount has been identified in 2020/21, leaving a further £3.6m to be identified over the next two financial years.”

Just over £1.7m in savings will come from a “greater than anticipated financial returns on the North Yorkshire Pension Fund” following a re-evaluation of the fund last year.

The budget will need to be approved by the full council on February 28 following the consultation.

Other proposed changes include the council tax premium on properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than five years will increase from 100% to 200% for the 2020/21 year onwards and the premium on properties that have been empty and unfurnished for more than 10 years will increase from 100% to 300% from April 1 2021.

Eight bin lorries will also be replaced with more environmentally friendly vehicles at a cost of £1.5m under the plans.