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Council aims to freeze council tax, amid other priorities for the next year

Derbyshire county councillors say the authority are hoping to freeze council tax next year.

Providing value for money, keeping council tax as low as possible and championing Derbyshire on the world stage are three major priorities outlined by Derbyshire County Council at its Annual General Meeting on 15th May.

Newly-elected Chairman Councillor Trevor Ainsworth set out the vision of the county council’s political administration, highlighting a number of successes over the past year and laying out plans for the coming months.

Councillor Ainsworth also paid tribute to the outgoing Chairman Councillor George Wharmby and welcomed Councillor Robert Parkinson who was elected to the newly created role of Civic Chairman to act as an ambassador for Derbyshire and a link between the council and local community bodies. Councillor Judith Twigg was also elected to the role of Vice Civic Chairman.

Highlights of the Chairman’s speech included:

  • An extra £6m put into road maintenance since May 2017 and Derbyshire being named the top county council for public satisfaction with roads in a national survey
  • The future of school crossing patrols is secured after listening to communities about the importance they place on this service
  • £18.5m invested in school improvement over the last financial year
  • 220 new council apprentices recruited over the past year
  • Taking the council’s Fair Share for Derbyshire campaign for government funding to Westminster
  • More than £250,000 in Action Grants invested in local community and voluntary groups
  • ‘Festival of Derbyshire’ planned for 2020 to boost the council’s tourism and inward investment economy
  • Modernising the council’s democratic systems through a new Constitution and faster and more open and transparent decision-making.

At the Annual General Meeting councillors also approved a new Council Plan which sets out the key priorities for the two years ahead which include keeping council tax low, bringing prosperity to Derbyshire, helping communities to help themselves, preventing health and social care problems and delivering efficient and effective council services.

Council Leader Barry Lewis said “Over a year ago we set out our Enterprising Council approach which aimed to deliver the best value for money services we possibly can with the decreasing money we have available to spend.

 “Our achievements over the past year and our plans for the future demonstrate how we’ve embraced this innovative approach to finding new and better ways of doing things and to work in partnership with communities and listen to local people about what is important to them.”

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