THE amount of council tax collected by Gloucestershire County Council could be frozen, if members approve the proposed budget for the next financial year.

The county council has put forward a draft budget of £428.11million, a £2.8million, or less than one per cent, reduction on the 2013/14 budget.

More than 1,100 people responded to GCC’s budget consultation with the majority of participants agreeing that money was being spent in the right areas.

Cllr Ray Theodoulou, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said that even though the council had to make it savings, it was still able to invest in community projects.

“As the district councils’ income is more than they originally estimated, we have been able to use this one-off extra money to focus on some of the things that people told us were important,” he said.

“We continue to work hard to meet our ongoing savings targets at the same time as protecting spending on services for the most vulnerable people in Gloucestershire.”

The £4.2million surplus collected from district councils will be used to pay off council debts but also to fund one-off investments, such as a £650,000 project to help children in care to be reunited with their families along.

A project to get people with disabilities into employment will be also be given a lump sum of £235,000 by the county council.

If the budget is approved by the cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday, February 5, full council will then be asked to confirm the budget at a meeting three weeks later.

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