STOCKTON COUNCIL formally approved its 2015/16 budget as well as outlining its financial plan for the next four years at a meeting of the full Council last night (25 February).
Councillors also approved a recommendation to increase Council Tax by 1.9 per cent.
Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “The decision to increase Council Tax was not an easy one but it is in the best interests of the Borough. It was a tough decision but one that we needed to make to help us continue to deliver much valued and needed front-line services and facilities for our residents.
“Our well-established approach to robust and realistic financial planning is delivering value for money and these plans will help us continue to deliver good services and facilities as well as protect our most vulnerable residents.”
The budgets were prepared against a backdrop of significant cuts in Government funding.
In 2010/11, Stockton Council received £120million in Government funding but this will reduce to £68million in 2015/16.
Meanwhile demands for front line services such as adults’ and children’s social care are continuing to increase.
The Council has already delivered savings of £34million over the last five years and 740 fewer employees work for the local authority. Further savings of more than £17m are expected by 2018/19.