Change to Doncaster budget plans

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PLANS to increase some council charges for Doncaster’s elderly and disabled have been reduced in an amended budget to be put before councillors next week.

Doncaster Council has to save another £25 million in the forthcoming financial year, without any increase in council tax charges.

Mayor Peter Davies said he had already decided to act before Labour councillors suggested amendments to reduce some of the proposed increases.

A planned 53 per cent increase in day care charges has been cut to a 10 per cent hike, meaning they will go up from £9.80 a day to £10.78.

Home care fees will remain at £11.28 an hour and day care transport charges will be £2 a day rather than the proposed £5. The cost of the home alarm pendant system for the elderly and disabled will also be frozen in 2013-14.

Labour leader Coun Ros Jones said her party had ‘stood up’ for the borough’s elderly residents.

The detailed proposals in the budget will be discussed in public at the Civic Office next Thursday.

After a cabinet meeting to go through the finer points of the budget. Mayor Peter Davies said: “This budget shows, with common sense and strong leadership, it is still possible to deliver what really matters to people and keep costs down.

“I am also pleased that it seems that this is finally a budget with broad political agreement, as many of the helpful amendments proposed by the Labour Party have proven unnecessary as the issues were already addressed, but I thank them for trying all the same.

“I am also proud that council tax will again remain frozen for a historic third year in a row. Never before has Doncaster had such a period. When I came to office I was told that council tax cuts and freezes were unsustainable and therefore impossible.

“The last three years clearly show it’s not true. I am always mindful that it’s the people of Doncaster’s money we are spending and we always should take as little as possible.”