Tax demand stays same as council looks at cuts

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Council tax will remain frozen for another year and £20 million should be spent on new council homes in Doncaster, says Mayor Peter Davies.

He also wants to modernise adult social care and boost individual care of the most elderly and vulnerable.

Mr Davies wants these people to live independently and remain in their own homes wherever possible.

The ideas are among a raft of 2012-13 budget proposals outlined by the Mayor to members of the council’s overview and scrutiny management committee. Doncaster Council must save £70.6 million over four years as a result of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The largest 2011-12 reductions of £38 million should be made by the end of March, but another £30 million needs to be saved for 2012-13.

Mr Davies said: “Despite the need to save £30 million, my draft budget proposals remain committed to investing and protecting priority services for our most vulnerable residents.

“I propose there will be no cuts in key services such as Street Scene, the safeguarding of children and to all those with moderate or more significant needs. Budgets are not easy decisions as the task of finding further savings - while improving key services - gets more and more difficult.”

Other budget proposals include efficiency savings across Children’s Services of £4.4 million, but at the same time investing over £3.5 million in safeguarding and support for vulnerable children; no increase in the cost of school meals; £500,000 to be set aside for the refurbishment of the Mansion House; significant funding for the FARRS and White Rose Way schemes; and cuts in support services of up to 25 per cent to redirect money towards front-line services.

“I encourage everyone to look carefully at the details and I am willing to listen to anyone who has a suggestion on where best we can make changes or save money,” Mr Davies added.

Residents have until January 20 next year to make their own suggestions of where the council can save money.