Cotswold District Council cuts its council tax by 5%

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Cotswold District Council is to cut its share of residents' council tax by 5% for the next year.

Council leader Lynden Stowe said there would be no increases until at least 2016.

He said the cut in tax had been achieved, despite a 39% reduction in government grants, by "focusing on efficiency in everything we do".

Mr Stowe said this included sharing many senior managers with West Oxfordshire District Council.

The council's budget for the next year also set aside £1m for a local mortgage scheme to help home buyers, and more than £930,000 for disabled facilities grants and other private sector housing renewal schemes.

Mr Stowe said the council had committed to not increasing charges for car parking, green waste collections, or leisure and museum prices, for at least another three years.

He said the local authority was on target to save £2m by 2014 by sharing services with West Oxfordshire council.

"Additionally in Cotswold, we have established a joint local authority company with Cheltenham Borough Council to provide our waste and recycling services and this should bring the total shared service savings for Cotswold up to £3m by 2014," he added.

"Our procurement decisions are always based on what delivers the best value for our residents and not on slavishly following any particular philosophy.

"We want to be recognised as the most efficient council in the country, and I think today we have shown how far we have come in achieving that aim," he said.

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