West Oxfordshire District Council has frozen its part of the council tax for the fifth year running, after setting its budget for 2015/16.
In detailing its budget, the council says it has delivered “for the first time, a truly sustainable financial strategy.”
It will also protect services, and not reduce grants for the voluntary and community sectors in West Oxfordshire.
The fifth year of council tax freezes means that the Band D property charge will remain at £81.63, less than half the national average which, the council says, “represents a real term cut of around 17 per cent over the five year period.”
WODC is the lowest levying of all five district authorities in Oxfordshire, in terms of council tax.
The Council has also pledged that for 2015/16, it will:
- protect frontline services and continue providing “local choice”, with a commitment to delivering first-class services while keeping decision making local to West Oxfordshire.
- continue supporting the voluntary sector, deferring a reduction in grant funding for the fourth year running. This means that a total of £277,850 in grants will go to a variety of local voluntary organisation which support West Oxfordshire residents.
- maintain services and provisions such as free parking across 16 public car parks 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- deliver further efficiency savings. West Oxfordshire and Cotswold District Councils will continue to develop shared working to deliver efficiencies including a joint saving of £2.2m to come in 2015/16.
- support a major ongoing project to secure full superfast broadband coverage for West Oxfordshire.
The council stresses that there will “no reductions in any frontline services” during 2015/16.
Councillor Barry Norton, Leader of the council, said:
“Not only are we meeting the budgetary challenges but we also continue to provide first-class services to our residents.
“As a council we provide local choice – we are the only council in Oxfordshire to provide free parking 24/7 – let’s keep it that way, with decision-making staying local here in West Oxfordshire where we have a lean, agile administration that is responsive to local needs.”