Mayor Peter Davies plans council tax freeze despite £30m cuts

Doncaster  Mayor Peter Davies.
Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies.

Mayor Peter Davies wants to freeze council tax for Doncaster residents - despite the council needing to find another £30 million of savings next year.

Mr Davies also wants to spend £20 million on new council homes and modernise adult social care to boost individual care of the most elderly and vulnerable.

The plans are among a raft of 2012-13 budget proposals outlined by the elected mayor to members of the council’s overview and scrutiny management committee.

Doncaster Council must save £70.6 million over four years as part 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.

“There will be no cuts in key services such as Street Scene, the safeguarding of children and to 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 savings of £4.4 million across the troubled Children’s Services department, which needed Government intervention last year after it was deemed inadequate by Ofsted.

However, Mr Davies wants to invest over £3.5 million in safeguarding and support for vulnerable children at the same time.

Prices of school meals, which shot up by 17 per cent last year, will remain the same and council support services will be slashed up to 25 per cent to redirect money towards front-line services.

The town’s historic Mansion House will also get a £500,000 refurbishment if Mr Davies gets his way.

Residents can see Mr Davies’ proposals at www.doncaster.gov.uk/budget They have until January 20 to make their own suggestions of where the council can save money.

Mr Davies added: “I encourage everyone to look carefully at the details. I’m willing to listen to anyone who has a suggestion where we can make changes or save money.”

The council’s overview and scrutiny management committee have until January 26 to consider the proposals.

Feedback will be discussed at cabinet in February before full council debate the plans.