209Hambleton residents and business owners are being given a say on what the District Council should be looking to spend its money on – and on the levels of council tax it levies.

The authority has embarked on a six week long budget consultation exercise to find out what people think of the council’s current priorities, its council tax and its proposals to improve services and increase efficiency.

“Over the last few years we have faced significant financial pressures as a result of national austerity measures which have reduced the amount of Government support we receive,” said Leader of the Council, Councillor Mark Robson.

“So far we have lost 47% – £2.7million – and we will inevitably face further cuts as the government’s austerity measures continue.    Councillors approved the financial strategy in February 2015 to take Hambleton forward over the next ten years and so far we have managed to deliver a balanced budget with little effect on frontline services.

“At the same time we are striving to achieve efficiency savings and to keep council tax low.

“We need to know what local people want us to focus on and what their priorities are.  We hope people will work with us going forward.”

The consultation can be accessed online at hambleton.gov.uk/survey/budget or by collecting a paper copy from the council offices in Northallerton, Easingwold or Stokesley or Springboard Business Centre in Stokesley or Evolution Business Centre in Northallerton. They must be completed and returned by 6 November.