Somerset County Council, North Somerset Council and Banes freeze council tax

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Three Somerset councils have agreed to freeze their council tax bill.

A decision by Bath and North East Somerset (Banes) means the average Band D council tax bill will be £1,201.

Somerset County Council said its budget would see £10m being saved, its council tax frozen with the Band D charge remaining at £1,027.30.

In North Somerset it will be £1,164.84 and the authority also also agreed to help fund the redevelopment of the Tropicana site in Weston-super-Mare.

'Extremely tough decisions'

Parking charges have also been frozen for a further year in the Bath area.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat-run Banes, Paul Crossley, said through "being financially responsible" the council could "protect many highly-valued services to the public and invest in the future of our communities with new homes, jobs and local facilities".

No Banes opposition spokesman was immediately available to comment.

Councillor John Osman, leader of Conservative-run Somerset County Council, said the budget was "difficult to set" and the authority "had to make some extremely tough decisions".

"While we have had to work hard to make savings, we are still spending more than £300m on key services," he added.

Despite savings already made, the Conservative-run North Somerset Council said it faced further reduction in government funding until at least 2018.

Financial hill

Council leader Nigel Ashton said: "We have already identified further savings of £15.5m for the three years from 2015/16 to 2017/18, but we still have to find at least another £22m," he said.

"Further changes to work practices and how services are delivered are inevitable given the size of the financial hill we still have to climb," he added.

North Somerset Liberal Democrat leader Mike Bell said he "welcomed" the decision to freeze council tax, a move he "strongly supported".

As well as the local authority's element of the council tax bill householders have to pay additional precepts for policing, the fire brigade and for their town, or parish, council.

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