The Council Tax may be set to rise in Orkney by 3% putting the Band D annual charge up from £1068 to £1100.
Proposed Council Tax charges
The whole council is yet to agree on the increases recommended by the Policy and Resources Committee.
Also set for a 4% increase would be some services provided by the council. The exceptions to this being: planning applications and building warrants, licensing fees and trade waste collections.
Social care charges are protected and free personal care is provided to all those eligible who are over 65. From April of next year this will be available to all those who require it regardless of age.
Having secured the fair ferry funding deal as part of the Scottish Budget, ferry fares will also remain protected.
James Stockan, Leader of Orkney Islands Council said:
“Although the award of fair funding is very welcome, we still need to find savings of £1.8 million.
“This is to close the gap between the funding we receive to run other Council services – and the actual cost of providing those services across the county.
“It amounts to 3% of the revenue support grant we’ll receive from the Scottish Government to run services other than ferries”
The committee also wishes to cut 14.5 full time jobs by not filling the ones vacant and by seeking voluntary redundancy and retirement as a first step.
By dipping into the Strategic Reserve Fund for £4.7 million the committee believes it can mitigate some of the cut backs necessary.
OIC will receive £69 million from the Scottish Government for the year ahead and an additional £5.5 million as a result of the fair ferry funding deal.
James Stockan said:
“Our reserves allow us to fund vital projects large and small – everything from new care homes in Stromness and Kirkwall, to improving community facilities like the halls in Deerness and Sandwick.
“This is why the much larger contribution we agreed a year ago had to be a one-off short-term measure. We need to protect the reserves as a legacy for our children and grandchildren – for the good of our community over many years ahead.”
The full council will make its decision on 22nd February.