Council tax freeze comes with warning

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Hard-pressed households will breathe a sigh as Chesterfield opts to freeze council tax for another year.

The borough council has confirmed rates will stay the same for 2014-2015, despite a big cut in funding it receives from the Government.

In 2010-11 the council received an £8.7 million grant from the Government.

For 2014-15 that figure falls to £6.3 million and drops to £5.3 million in 2015-16.

Residents have been warned public services will suffer as the local authority attempts to make £1 million in savings.

Among proposals which will be put to the council at its annual budget meeting next week are cut backs on Christmas lights, the cancellation of a community arts festival and a charge for community firework displays.

Coun John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Council, said: “We know how hard residents are struggling at the moment and by careful management of our budgets we have been able to freeze council tax and avoid announcing major job losses like many councils have had to.

“But I wouldn’t want that to mask the impact of the cuts we have to make this year or the fact that far worse is to come in the next few years.

“All the easy pickings went a long time ago.

“We are now talking about cuts that directly impact on the lives of residents.”