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'Difficult decisions' on council budget
DIFFICULT decisions had to be taken when Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet planned slashing its 2014/15 budget by £25m, leader Jane Scott said on Tuesday.
The Cabinet approved the plans which will be voted on by councillors at next Tuesday’s full council meeting.
Among the proposals are the freezing of Wiltshire Council’s part of the council tax, subsidy reductions for less efficient bus services and withdrawal of 5p per mile support funding to the region’s Link bus services.
The council tax freeze means a Band D household would pay £1,222 for Wiltshire’s services from April. Cllr Scott said: “This has not been a very easy budget but there were two things we wanted to ensure.
"The first was that we protected frontline services as much as possible and the second was that we wanted to keep the council tax down as we know people are struggling.”
The budget will, if approved, invest £18m in improving other services. This includes an extra £10m in highways schemes, £1.3m in health provision and giving staff a one per cent pay rise.
The proposed budget is £333m, which is £7.5m less than last year. Central government funding to Wiltshire for the year has been reduced by £9.5m.