Cabinet approves multi-million pound cuts and council tax hike in Derbyshire

Derbyshire County Council's Matlock headquarters.
Derbyshire County Council's Matlock headquarters.

Derbyshire County Council's cabinet members have agreed to make £12.3million in cuts over the next year.

Councillors also voted for a 4.99 per cent council tax rise for 2018-19 - its biggest in 15 years - when they met in Matlock this afternoon.

Since 2010, the Conservative-led authority has slashed its budget by £200m amid Tory austerity.

The cuts are set to mean, among other things, a £500,000 reduction in disability learning services, a £500,000 reduction in winter maintenance - which includes gritting - a £300,000 reduction in school crossing patrols and job losses.

The council tax hike - will see an increase of £47.03 a year or 90p per week for an average band B property - will help fund essential services, according to the county council.

A council tax freeze is planned for both 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Councillor Barry Lewis, the county council's leader, said he considered the budget to be 'strong and fair'.

He added: "Like all local authorities we're facing challenges in the coming year.

"While we have £12m savings to make in the coming year, we have a budget of £503m and we'll be making sure this is spent in those areas where it brings the most benefit to Derbyshire people."

But Derbyshire Labour said the cuts and council tax rise would hit people hard and urged Coun Lewis to put pressure on the Government over the ongoing austerity.

In 2017-18, the authority - then Labour-controlled - approved a 3.99 hike in council tax and agreed to make £34m of budget cuts for that period.

The budget is expected to be rubber-stamped at a meeting of the full county council next month.

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