South Lakeland District Council agrees council tax freeze as budget is set for 2013/14

SOUTH Lakeland councillors unanimously agreed not to increase its share of council tax as rates for the region in 2013/14 were set last night.

The average parish and town council precept across the district has gone up by 7.4 per cent, while the Cumbria Police Authority raised its precept 1.9 per cent.

But South Lakeland District Councillors and Cumbria County Council have both frozen their rates.

This means the average council tax bill in South Lakeland will increase by 0.4 per cent for the coming year.

In a report presented to full council, members were told a band D property will face an average charge of £1,572.43 for the year.

Council leader Peter Thornton said: “Every pound that we can save local residents is a pound that they can spend in local businesses, boosting our economy.”

Changes to council tax discounts, with effect from April 1 this year and which scrap the 50 per cent rate for second homes, were also voted through unanimously by members.

Setting the overall budget for the coming year, members heard the authority remains under pressure to balance a budget deficit as the Local Government Finance Settlement was lower than expected. To achieve a balanced budget, money was taken from the council’s reserves to be used alongside that saved by cutting discounts on second homes.

Coun David Evans said: “We have lost 28% of funding from the Government but avoided a knee jerk reaction to raise council tax. Our freeze is a help to hard-pushed families.”

The opposition party put forward an amendment to the proposed budget for 2013/14.

Coun Ben Berry, shadow member for policy, performance and resources, called on members to back his proposals for schemes including capital investment in car parks, free WiFi to boost high street business and the introduction of a late night shopping day to be trialled over the summer.

He also called for enforcement of dog control orders to be privatised and the council’s free newspaper South Lakeland News to be scrapped.

But members of the Cabinet said his suggestions lacked research and costings.

Coun Ian Stewart said his calls for the council to become leaner were a ‘step too far’.

“As a council we can cut away at the fat”, he said. “But eventually you get to the skeleton and you are cutting bone.”

And Coun Clare Feeney-Johnson said: “It is sad really that before us we get amendments that have not been thought through and which haven’t had the homework done before being presented.”

But Coun James Airey said the proposals were ‘well put together and easily workable’.

He said accusing Coun Berry of a lack of research was ‘rich’ from the Liberal Democrat party, and accused its councillors of being responsible for £500,000 of waste in the last 12 to 18 months.

“And as for South Lakeland News, I haven’t heard of one person in South Lakeland who thinks it is worth the paper it is printed on,” he said. “That £24,000 could be much better spent.”

After agreeing that issues could be further worked on through the year, the budget was unanimously passed.

Coun Berry said: “In the most part we agree on the budget as it is set out. We just thought there were areas that could be built on.”

Comments (20)

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4:55pm Fri 1 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Ah... South Lakeland News.... that went straight in the recycling bin.
Ah... South Lakeland News.... that went straight in the recycling bin. zaney5
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Whinfell says...

Surely they could scrap the worthless South Lakeland News and deduct the savings from the Council Tax.
Great news to hear the second home owners discount has been scrapped.
Does anyone know how much people on benefits are contributing.Apparan
tly they can be charged up to 20%.
Poor things!
I've ben contributing 100% for 25 years.
Any idea why the Police are allowed to increase their share by 1.95%?
How much of this is paying for Police Overtime,Police off with stress, and Police off sick, and Police off suspended but being paid in full.
Why are the Town and Parish councils not freezing their share?
Apart from that at least it is good news for thiose of us who actually have to pay 10% Council Tax.
Surely they could scrap the worthless South Lakeland News and deduct the savings from the Council Tax. Great news to hear the second home owners discount has been scrapped. Does anyone know how much people on benefits are contributing.Apparan tly they can be charged up to 20%. Poor things! I've ben contributing 100% for 25 years. Any idea why the Police are allowed to increase their share by 1.95%? How much of this is paying for Police Overtime,Police off with stress[yes work is stressful otherwise it wouldn't be clased as work], and Police off sick, and Police off suspended but being paid in full. Why are the Town and Parish councils not freezing their share? Apart from that at least it is good news for thiose of us who actually have to pay 10% Council Tax. Whinfell
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 1 Mar 13

snuggle-bunny says...

' Council tax frozen' - there go the big bosses pay rises and expenses. Could allways close a few citizens advice centers to fund them though
' Council tax frozen' - there go the big bosses pay rises and expenses. Could allways close a few citizens advice centers to fund them though snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Fri 1 Mar 13

nickjohn says...

How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.
How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??. nickjohn
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Ben Berry says...

nickjohn wrote:
How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.
It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time.

Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.
[quote][p][bold]nickjohn[/bold] wrote: How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.[/p][/quote]It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time. Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that. Ben Berry
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Fri 1 Mar 13

nickjohn says...

Ben Berry wrote:
nickjohn wrote:
How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.
It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time.

Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.
Are you implying the high street is not a nice place to be now??

I may be wrong, but wouldn't it be better to rejuvenate the town centre by helping start up business, this will give a more diverse selection of shops and a broader shopping experience which would give people a reason to come into town in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]Ben Berry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nickjohn[/bold] wrote: How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.[/p][/quote]It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time. Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.[/p][/quote]Are you implying the high street is not a nice place to be now?? I may be wrong, but wouldn't it be better to rejuvenate the town centre by helping start up business, this will give a more diverse selection of shops and a broader shopping experience which would give people a reason to come into town in the first place. nickjohn
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 2 Mar 13

Ben Berry says...

nickjohn wrote:
Ben Berry wrote:
nickjohn wrote:
How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.
It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time.

Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.
Are you implying the high street is not a nice place to be now??

I may be wrong, but wouldn't it be better to rejuvenate the town centre by helping start up business, this will give a more diverse selection of shops and a broader shopping experience which would give people a reason to come into town in the first place.
Better: Of a more excellent or effective type or quality.

So no, I clearly was not implying that.

You'll note also in my proposals was a business development forum to find ways to help business.

Although wholly rejected by the administration I hoped that we could implement these low cost projects that would have big benefits.
[quote][p][bold]nickjohn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ben Berry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nickjohn[/bold] wrote: How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.[/p][/quote]It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time. Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.[/p][/quote]Are you implying the high street is not a nice place to be now?? I may be wrong, but wouldn't it be better to rejuvenate the town centre by helping start up business, this will give a more diverse selection of shops and a broader shopping experience which would give people a reason to come into town in the first place.[/p][/quote]Better: Of a more excellent or effective type or quality. So no, I clearly was not implying that. You'll note also in my proposals was a business development forum to find ways to help business. Although wholly rejected by the administration I hoped that we could implement these low cost projects that would have big benefits. Ben Berry
  • Score: 0

12:06pm Sat 2 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Ben Berry wrote:
nickjohn wrote:
How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.
It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time.

Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.
Oh yeah, cos thats what I want in a high street. Free speedy wifi.

Please... what people want are decent shops and fair parking charges.

Get a grip.
[quote][p][bold]Ben Berry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]nickjohn[/bold] wrote: How exactly will free wifi boost high street business??.[/p][/quote]It would make the high street a better place to be and to spend time. Dont worry, its been done for free in other towns and that's what I was hoping to replicate. But they didn't like that.[/p][/quote]Oh yeah, cos thats what I want in a high street. Free speedy wifi. Please... what people want are decent shops and fair parking charges. Get a grip. zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:07pm Sat 2 Mar 13

nickjohn says...

FAO: Councillor Berry,
I would be interested to see how the introduction of the free wifi increased footfall to a town centre and what the local shops thought of the idea in the long term, can you supply the names of the towns..

I would have thought that what we need is a number of smaller retail units with manageable rents (or rental deals based on turnover / profit) and discounted rates periods. As I have said before what we need is smaller independent retailers who will offer a diverse choice. You can go to any major town and find, River Island, Next, New Look, Costa Coffee etc etc etc so why choose Kendal??? also the smaller retailers plough more of their profits back into the local community.

Its all right having the national chains but they only pay minimum wage and the profits go back to head office, the independents may pay the same but the profits are kept locally and the owners spend that money in the local community.. This in turn does more good locally.....
FAO: Councillor Berry, I would be interested to see how the introduction of the free wifi increased footfall to a town centre and what the local shops thought of the idea in the long term, can you supply the names of the towns.. I would have thought that what we need is a number of smaller retail units with manageable rents (or rental deals based on turnover / profit) and discounted rates periods. As I have said before what we need is smaller independent retailers who will offer a diverse choice. You can go to any major town and find, River Island, Next, New Look, Costa Coffee etc etc etc so why choose Kendal??? also the smaller retailers plough more of their profits back into the local community. Its all right having the national chains but they only pay minimum wage and the profits go back to head office, the independents may pay the same but the profits are kept locally and the owners spend that money in the local community.. This in turn does more good locally..... nickjohn
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Sat 2 Mar 13

life cycle too says...

There was free WiFi in some parks in Paris last year, and Barnsley has free WiFi in it's town centre.

This from BBC News:
►Councils and other bodies have struggled in the UK, but there are many successful free wireless internet projects around the world.

Many US cities - including Denver, Raleigh and Seattle - have free access in some areas, usually the centre. Bologna in Italy has a similar set-up.

Taipei in Taiwan currently has major public sites covered, but much of the city will be covered by October.

The whole of the city of Oulu in Finland is covered, in a partnership with a number of local universities. Its backers say not only does it improve communication, but it is a useful tool for Oulu's online government services.◄

The only problem in Kendal would be the dinosaurs that infest the council - Kencomp were able to provide WiFi in Staveley years ago, although it wasn't free!
Many phones and tablet PCs connect to WiFi - it could tell you where the nearest available public toilet was, or allow you to report a broken paving stone straight away.. which is probably why some on the District Council don't think it a good idea!
There was free WiFi in some parks in Paris last year, and Barnsley has free WiFi in it's town centre. This from BBC News: ►Councils and other bodies have struggled in the UK, but there are many successful free wireless internet projects around the world. Many US cities - including Denver, Raleigh and Seattle - have free access in some areas, usually the centre. Bologna in Italy has a similar set-up. Taipei in Taiwan currently has major public sites covered, but much of the city will be covered by October. The whole of the city of Oulu in Finland is covered, in a partnership with a number of local universities. Its backers say not only does it improve communication, but it is a useful tool for Oulu's online government services.◄ The only problem in Kendal would be the dinosaurs that infest the council - Kencomp were able to provide WiFi in Staveley years ago, although it wasn't free! Many phones and tablet PCs connect to WiFi - it could tell you where the nearest available public toilet was, or allow you to report a broken paving stone straight away.. which is probably why some on the District Council don't think it a good idea! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Gingery says...

How about improving mobile signal in the centre first?Step off the main street into shops and mobile signal is zilch. The owners of one business in town often go outside to use their mobile phones, or are seen waving their phones around in the shop window. Don't know if it would improve footfall but it's something some people might find inconvenient.
How about improving mobile signal in the centre first?Step off the main street into shops and mobile signal is zilch. The owners of one business in town often go outside to use their mobile phones, or are seen waving their phones around in the shop window. Don't know if it would improve footfall but it's something some people might find inconvenient. Gingery
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Tue 5 Mar 13

PropMeUpWithTeabags says...

You could go into currys see all the tvs then buy it cheaper on amazon from your smart phone
You could go into currys see all the tvs then buy it cheaper on amazon from your smart phone PropMeUpWithTeabags
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Tue 5 Mar 13

life cycle too says...

Whinfell wrote:
Surely they could scrap the worthless South Lakeland News and deduct the savings from the Council Tax.
Great news to hear the second home owners discount has been scrapped.
Does anyone know how much people on benefits are contributing.Apparan

tly they can be charged up to 20%.
Poor things!
I've ben contributing 100% for 25 years.
Any idea why the Police are allowed to increase their share by 1.95%?
How much of this is paying for Police Overtime,Police off with stress, and Police off sick, and Police off suspended but being paid in full.
Why are the Town and Parish councils not freezing their share?
Apart from that at least it is good news for thiose of us who actually have to pay 10% Council Tax.
The reason the Town and Parish Councils are not freezing "their share" is that they are now paying for or supporting the services that South Lakeland District Council abdicated responsibility from - such as public toilets, tourist information, and dealing with the complaints of residents, who are seeing their streets filled with parked cars, that will not pay the exorbitant fees to use the SLDC car parks!

It is also worth noting, that some local councils had previously frozen their precepts as SLDC continued to raise theirs, and the increases in both Police AND Parish Council precepts still only represent a small increase in monetary terms, especially when spread over a whole year, and none of that money is wasted on pointless consultations, legal challenges on disability rights or officers pay and pensions! Nor have they committed council tax payers money on road "improvements" expecting to be reimbursed by the now bankrupt K Village!

Many Town and Parish Councils are struggling to fill seats on their councils, as many consider it a thankless or worthless task, taking responsibility for looking after the residents interests. Having seen how they are treated by SLDC first hand, I cannot say I blame them.
[quote][p][bold]Whinfell[/bold] wrote: Surely they could scrap the worthless South Lakeland News and deduct the savings from the Council Tax. Great news to hear the second home owners discount has been scrapped. Does anyone know how much people on benefits are contributing.Apparan tly they can be charged up to 20%. Poor things! I've ben contributing 100% for 25 years. Any idea why the Police are allowed to increase their share by 1.95%? How much of this is paying for Police Overtime,Police off with stress[yes work is stressful otherwise it wouldn't be clased as work], and Police off sick, and Police off suspended but being paid in full. Why are the Town and Parish councils not freezing their share? Apart from that at least it is good news for thiose of us who actually have to pay 10% Council Tax.[/p][/quote]The reason the Town and Parish Councils are not freezing "their share" is that they are now paying for or supporting the services that South Lakeland District Council abdicated responsibility from - such as public toilets, tourist information, and dealing with the complaints of residents, who are seeing their streets filled with parked cars, that will not pay the exorbitant fees to use the SLDC car parks! It is also worth noting, that some local councils had previously frozen their precepts as SLDC continued to raise theirs, and the increases in both Police AND Parish Council precepts still only represent a small increase in monetary terms, especially when spread over a whole year, and none of that money is wasted on pointless consultations, legal challenges on disability rights or officers pay and pensions! Nor have they committed council tax payers money on road "improvements" expecting to be reimbursed by the now bankrupt K Village! Many Town and Parish Councils are struggling to fill seats on their councils, as many consider it a thankless or worthless task, taking responsibility for looking after the residents interests. Having seen how they are treated by SLDC first hand, I cannot say I blame them. life cycle too
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Tue 5 Mar 13

life cycle too says...

PropMeUpWithTeabags wrote:
You could go into currys see all the tvs then buy it cheaper on amazon from your smart phone
Amazon?? My son just bought a laptop from Currys for £100 less than Amazon.

On the few occasions when I have looked, Amazon have been more expensive every time!
[quote][p][bold]PropMeUpWithTeabags[/bold] wrote: You could go into currys see all the tvs then buy it cheaper on amazon from your smart phone[/p][/quote]Amazon?? My son just bought a laptop from Currys for £100 less than Amazon. On the few occasions when I have looked, Amazon have been more expensive every time! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Tue 5 Mar 13

snuggle-bunny says...

everyone off to currys- el pronto
everyone off to currys- el pronto snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Tue 5 Mar 13

PropMeUpWithTeabags says...

Except Currys never have anything in stock. Wanted a galaxy tab 2 last week. No stock. Wanted a Samsung tv today. No stock.
I hear Currys is moving to Comets old store. Maybe that's just a rumour.
Except Currys never have anything in stock. Wanted a galaxy tab 2 last week. No stock. Wanted a Samsung tv today. No stock. I hear Currys is moving to Comets old store. Maybe that's just a rumour. PropMeUpWithTeabags
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Tue 5 Mar 13

snuggle-bunny says...

life cycle too wrote:
There was free WiFi in some parks in Paris last year, and Barnsley has free WiFi in it's town centre.

This from BBC News:
►Councils and other bodies have struggled in the UK, but there are many successful free wireless internet projects around the world.

Many US cities - including Denver, Raleigh and Seattle - have free access in some areas, usually the centre. Bologna in Italy has a similar set-up.

Taipei in Taiwan currently has major public sites covered, but much of the city will be covered by October.

The whole of the city of Oulu in Finland is covered, in a partnership with a number of local universities. Its backers say not only does it improve communication, but it is a useful tool for Oulu's online government services.◄

The only problem in Kendal would be the dinosaurs that infest the council - Kencomp were able to provide WiFi in Staveley years ago, although it wasn't free!
Many phones and tablet PCs connect to WiFi - it could tell you where the nearest available public toilet was, or allow you to report a broken paving stone straight away.. which is probably why some on the District Council don't think it a good idea!
there's no such thing as free. Someone will be paying for it somewhere along the line
[quote][p][bold]life cycle too[/bold] wrote: There was free WiFi in some parks in Paris last year, and Barnsley has free WiFi in it's town centre. This from BBC News: ►Councils and other bodies have struggled in the UK, but there are many successful free wireless internet projects around the world. Many US cities - including Denver, Raleigh and Seattle - have free access in some areas, usually the centre. Bologna in Italy has a similar set-up. Taipei in Taiwan currently has major public sites covered, but much of the city will be covered by October. The whole of the city of Oulu in Finland is covered, in a partnership with a number of local universities. Its backers say not only does it improve communication, but it is a useful tool for Oulu's online government services.◄ The only problem in Kendal would be the dinosaurs that infest the council - Kencomp were able to provide WiFi in Staveley years ago, although it wasn't free! Many phones and tablet PCs connect to WiFi - it could tell you where the nearest available public toilet was, or allow you to report a broken paving stone straight away.. which is probably why some on the District Council don't think it a good idea![/p][/quote]there's no such thing as free. Someone will be paying for it somewhere along the line snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Tue 5 Mar 13

snuggle-bunny says...

PropMeUpWithTeabags wrote:
Except Currys never have anything in stock. Wanted a galaxy tab 2 last week. No stock. Wanted a Samsung tv today. No stock.
I hear Currys is moving to Comets old store. Maybe that's just a rumour.
cancel going to currys
[quote][p][bold]PropMeUpWithTeabags[/bold] wrote: Except Currys never have anything in stock. Wanted a galaxy tab 2 last week. No stock. Wanted a Samsung tv today. No stock. I hear Currys is moving to Comets old store. Maybe that's just a rumour.[/p][/quote]cancel going to currys snuggle-bunny
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Lakeuk says...

Currys/PC World are opening up in the old Coment, whether that means they'll move out of Kendal town centre then we'll have to wait and see.

Alot of lines are low or out of stock at this time of the year tablet's were best sellers over the last year and the 2013 models of manufacturers TV's get released during Mar/Apr - old lines get run down on the inventory
Currys/PC World are opening up in the old Coment, whether that means they'll move out of Kendal town centre then we'll have to wait and see. Alot of lines are low or out of stock at this time of the year tablet's were best sellers over the last year and the 2013 models of manufacturers TV's get released during Mar/Apr - old lines get run down on the inventory Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

11:10pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Lakeuk says...

Had a scan through the ops proposals, agree news letter should be scraped, waste of 24k.

Car park investment, don't agree with spending more cash on them, first they should maximise their use on those under performing through reduce charges to support local businesses. They have the machines to give them the metrics to tell them where action is needed so no excuse to ignoring the public on this issue.

Privatising Dog Control Orders - sounds a premature suggestion when the orders are not yet in force, unless the council has no intention of enforcing them

Mortgage scheme - Is it risky, would it pass the Bank of Dave test, how do you guarantee the defaults won't impact the investment

Free Wifi - has it's merits, could be placed in main seating areas, for example Market Place, Finkle Street in Kendal

Late night shopping, easy - free parking after 6pm, persuading the big chains to open more difficult

lost of the will to live on the rest of it....
Had a scan through the ops proposals, agree news letter should be scraped, waste of 24k. Car park investment, don't agree with spending more cash on them, first they should maximise their use on those under performing through reduce charges to support local businesses. They have the machines to give them the metrics to tell them where action is needed so no excuse to ignoring the public on this issue. Privatising Dog Control Orders - sounds a premature suggestion when the orders are not yet in force, unless the council has no intention of enforcing them Mortgage scheme - Is it risky, would it pass the Bank of Dave test, how do you guarantee the defaults won't impact the investment Free Wifi - has it's merits, could be placed in main seating areas, for example Market Place, Finkle Street in Kendal Late night shopping, easy - free parking after 6pm, persuading the big chains to open more difficult lost of the will to live on the rest of it.... Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

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